Canadian municipalities currently produce financial information that is deficient because of limited disclosure and accounting for liabilities. These omissions include a failure to properly account for asset costs leading to accrued asset maintenance deficits, pension fund future liabilities and environmental and disaster contingency funds. For the huge sums involved, to base major borrowing decisions upon financial information that is this complete is imprudent and may border on the reckless.
If good local government is to be achieved a better standard of performance must be mandated for municipalities within Canadian local government empowering legislation.
Unlike the obvious difference between those two items, Canadian municipalities often mix up two very different accounting categories—operating and capital expenditures. The result is that an educated reader is left to guess about municipal financial statements.
Comparing the financial health and financial reporting standards of Canada’s largest municipalities.
Left within municipalities, water will remain just a staid, old departmental activity with little emphasis being given to its special place in the lives of city citizens.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy releases its inaugural Local Government Performance Index (LGPI). It contains some 3000 data points concerning the 2005 financial performance of municipalities in Canada’s 30 most populous jurisdictions.
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