The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has completed the eighth edition of its Local Government Performance Index (LGPI). The Transparency Index (TI) ranks the top 100 Canadian cities on the quality of their financial reporting over the 2013 financial year.
Since the project began, TI scores have vastly increased across the country as cities improve their accounting. For instance, almost all large cities now include figures for depreciation in their financial statements, and many cities provide citizens with a more detailed breakdown of expenses.
Five Albertan cities share first place in the TI with Port Coquitlam in British Columbia and Mississauga in Ontario: Medicine Hat, St. Albert, Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton.
Niagara Falls received a zero because its 2013 financial statements are not yet available (as of July 7, 2015). The auditing of the City’s financial statements for 2012 was not finished until November of 2014, whereas most cities have their financial statements audited within a year.
Excluding Niagara Falls, Kawartha Lakes and Charlottetown are in last place nationally, with Windsor and Cape Breton close behind. Grande Prairie is in last place among the cities evaluated in Western Canada. Moncton ranks first among the cities in the Atlantic provinces, with Fredericton taking second place.
The actual fiscal performance of cities is not evaluated, but the LGPI Web site serves as a springboard for further research. The LGPI’s site compiles the financial statements of municipalities and allows users to compare cities on a variety of financial metrics.