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

UPDATE: West Fraser to permanently reduce production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Bus company eyeing passenger and cargo service departing from Williams Lake, stopping in Quesnel

Merritt Bus Shuttle Services Ltd. would have a driver based in Williams Lake for the route to Prince George

Feedback sought on environmental impacts of New Gold’s proposed Blackwater Mine

Public is invited to comment in final round of consultation

Council: what the next four years will bring

Quesnel’s mayor sets out ambitions for newly elected officials

Quesnel man gets jail time for Bumper to Bumper B&E

Matthew Emmanuel Lucani sentenced to 149 days in jail, two years’ probation

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Supreme Court hears case on migrant detainees’ rights to challenge incarceration

Currently, migrants who do not hold Canadian citizenship can only challenge detention through an immigration tribunal or a judicial review.

Canada Post issues new offer to employees as eBay calls on Ottawa to end strikes

Ebay is calling on the federal government to legislate an end to the Canada Post contract dispute, warning that quick action is needed to ensure retailers don’t lose out on critical Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Most Read