Upper Lonsdale neighbourhood in North Vancouver (Wikimedia Commons)

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

With the municipal election just over a month away, those in the running are going to need to address the million-dollar problem in civic government: overspending.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, it’s a problem that plagues every major municipality, defined as a city with a population larger than 25,000 residents.

In the business group’s annual municipal spending report, released this week, spending increased an average of 43 per cent in cities between 2006 and 2016. That’s compared to populations growing about 12 per cent.

In dollars, that’s $1,243 per person on average across B.C in 2016, and $1,537 per capita in the province’s 20 major cities.

“Only eight out of 152 municipal governments in B.C. have kept operational spending at or below levels of inflation plus population growth over the 10 year period examined,” the report reads.

Meanwhile, two of B.C.’s largest cities, Vancouver and Victoria, each increased their operating spending per person by 32 per cent and 30 per cent respectively from 2006 to 2016, according to the report data.

In its rank of the 20 large municipalities with the best operating spending per capita growth, Port Coquitlam topped the list.

That’s because the city had relatively low spending of $1,235 per person but controlled spending increases over the decade, at just 7.6 per cent.

Maple Ridge and Kelowna ranked second and third best respectively. Surrey had the lowest per capita spending in 2016 at $1,057.

The Township of Langley ranked as the worst major municipality, CFIB said, due to the large per capita increase between 2006 and 2016, of 50.1 per cent growth. Still, the township’s per-capita expenditures remain below average, so curbing spending could improve that rate, the report suggests.

The CFIB said cities have ample opportunity to diversify revenue sources and cut costs without cutting services – with some municipalities already taking on initiatives.

“Some municipalities have already started doing this by sharing resources, making the most of publicly owned assets, investing in new technologies, and changing inefficient practices,” the business group said. “For example, the City of Victoria was able to reduce paper use through the development of an online parking application.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oliver to get new sheriff from graduating class

Oliver will be one of a number of B.C. communities to get a member of the recent graduating class

Out to pasture at the Freak’n Farmer

The annual “fun” event at Covert Farms put on by the Covert family and HooDoo Adventures

Couple of cruisers crammed in Penticton

Penticton RCMP officers and voluteers collected food and money for the Salvation Army Food Bank

Great news for Indigenous youth program in BC

The federal government came through with over $1 million in funding for Indigenous youth program

Rodgers visits animals at Ontario wildlife sanctuary

Summerland-based musician a supporter of several animal sanctuaries

Environment Canada confirms Ottawa area hit by two tornadoes Friday

At one point more than 200,000 hydro customers were blacked out

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Trans Canada now open west of Chase, ‘heavy delays’

Few details available about crash that closed Trans Canada Highway west of Chase Sunday, Sept. 23

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Family, friends of B.C murder victim want killer sent back to max security facility

Group wants convicted murderer Walter Ramsay sent back to a maximum security facility

Most Read