Canada’s municipalities are routinely missing the spending targets in their budgets by large amounts, undermining the ability of voters to hold them accountable, according to a new study from the C.D. Howe Institute.
In “Wild Numbers: Getting Better Fiscal Accountability in Canada’s Municipalities” authors William B.P. Robson and Farah Omran compare the annual spending projections of Canada’s 31 most populous municipalities over the past nine years to their end-of-year financial results. They find that in almost all these municipalities, the numbers – which are typically confusing – are badly off the mark.
*Note to Readers: This is an updated version of the Commentary with corrected numbers for the city of Markham