Editorial — Municipalities need to show some restraint

Canadian Federation of Independent Business numbers show a disturbing trend of overspending.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has taken aim at municipal spending across Canada, just as municipal leaders have gathered in Vancouver for the annual convention of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. The scrutiny is long overdue.

The CFIB notes that municipal spending has grown by 55 per cent in the last decade, even as the population has grown by 12 per cent.

Here’s some direct quotes from a CFIB press release:

“It is reasonable to assume that municipal spending would keep pace with increases in population and with increases in prices (inflation). Across Canada, population growth between 2000 and 2011 has been 12 per cent. In Vancouver, population growth was 15 per cent. Over that same time period, inflation-adjusted municipal operating spending increased by a jaw-dropping 55 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.

“In other words, the pace of municipal spending growth was over three times the growth in population and inflation.

“Put another way, municipalities have increased per-person spending by over 30 per cent. Do you feel like you are getting 30 per cent more services from your municipal government?

“Municipalities claim they are falling behind on one of their core responsibilities — infrastructure. At the same time, they say they need more revenue to deal with problems not addressed adequately by other levels of government, like housing and health.

“Transfers from senior levels of government to B.C. municipalities increased by 273 per cent between 2001 and 2010. So where is all this new municipal revenue going?

“Municipal employment increased by double the rate of population growth over the past 12 years. In addition, municipal employees make 36 per cent more in wages and benefits than equivalent jobs in the private sector. Wages and benefits make up 67 per cent of Vancouver’s budget. To unravel the overspending, this is where we must start.”

CFIB makes some excellent points. Municipal wages are considerably higher than those for similar workers in the private sector. Tough bargaining is needed to help rectify the imbalance. A close look at all benefits that go to municipal employees is also needed.

Municipal governments need to start exercising some restraint.

Just Posted

Teen’s outlook positive, despite living with ‘Stone Man Syndrome’

Alexandra Hoodikoff has a conditon that affects one in two million people

VIDEO: Jewelry designer casts new soul in old gold

In response to industry changes, Karyn Chopik is recycling old jewelry into modern art

Langley’s Wyatt twins ready to earn their stripes as Tigers

RE Mountain Grade 12 students will also study physics at University of Memphis

LEPS, Langley Township mark Earth Month with eco-friendly events

Arbour Day, Clean-Up Day happening last two weekends in April

Stage 1 watering restrictions to kick in two weeks early

As of May 1, Metro Vancouver residents can only water lawns two days a week instead of three

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

Unions set for national strike against CP Rail

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Cops corral pig on the loose on Vancouver Island

Police “put the grab” on pig before it can cross the highway on Vancouver Island

Accused in B.C. school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

Decision will put hold on upcoming trial for Gabriel Klein

Most Read