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

Police dog helps apprehend ‘prolific’ property crime offender near Surrey, Langley border

Douglas Holmes, 47, has been charged with break and enter of a business on the Langley Bypass

Man stabbed in Fleetwood overnight

Police were on scene in the 15200-block of Fraser Highway shortly after midnight

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

North Delta teen dancer to make her debut on the world stage

Emma McQuarrie will be competing in Portugal this June for the Dance World Cup

White Rock-South Surrey Titans prep for football provincials

Association’s midget team to play in B.C. final Sunday in Kamloops

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

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read