A western Canadian think tank has ranked Saskatoon the 88th most financially transparent city in the country, according to a new report that also gives the city its highest score in six years.
Saskatoon dropped to 88th from 30th out of 100 cities. The slide means Saskatoon has become less transparent.
A good ranking is not reflective of how much a city spends, or what projects are funded, but rather how accessible its financial statements are to the public.
"It probably reflects a good culture within the municipal government of respecting the fact that people want information, that it should be available, and that it's a priority for the city to provide those kinds of details," Peter McCaffrey, a policy analyst with the Frontier Centre, said Monday.
Researchers poured through 100 Canadian municipalities' 2011 financial statements, rewarding top cities for explaining in detail where public funds are distributed and what that means for the city's overall financial outlook. Analysts also looked for year-over-year spending trends cities provided in such departments as transit and the environment.
The City of Regina, by comparison, climbed nine spots over last year to tie for third with Maple Ridge, B.C., in the Frontier Centre for Public Policy's annual Local Government Performance Index released Monday.
This year's third-place ranking is the highest a Saskatchewan city has scored.