A River Runs Through It – March 4, 2013
The downtown bridge is being built by Kentucky and the other, known as the East End crossing, is being built by Indiana. Yet while Indiana has legislation that allows for public-private partnerships (PPP), Kentucky does not. So the downtown bridge will be procured the traditional way, and the East End crossing will use a PPP.
The Case Against Nova Brunsward – December 7, 2012
Using the combined purchasing power of the three Maritime governments would indeed be a good idea, because it would save taxpayers money. But it would do nothing to solve the problem of the three provinces being "terribly over-governed," which has been used as an argument to advance the union by Senator Mike Duffy and the National Post editorial board.
Media Release - Empower Local Voters to Increase Government Accountability and Efficiency – November 15, 2012
This study proses a way to develop greater spending transparency by way of enhancing fiscal autonomy for the provinces and municipalities
Strengthening Fiscal Responsibility Through Decentralization – November 15, 2012
The constitution allocates responsibility over most policy areas exclusively to the provinces or the federal government. But the federal government routinely oversteps its bounds. To create more accountable, more efficient government, the federal government should step back and allow the provinces and municipalities to fund and deliver the services that they are responsible for.
Why Canadian Cities Should Look to Phoenix – November 7, 2012
Residents of Canadian cities constantly hear rumours of shady dealings between municipal politicians and developers. The only way to prevent against this is to remove politicians from day to day operations – just like the City of Phoenix, Arizona, has done.
A Planet of People: Angel's Planet of Cities – October 18, 2012
Planet of Cities looks at the urbanization trend from various dimensions. A sample of 30 urban areas was used to gauge urban expansion and density changes from 1800 to 2000.
Media Release - Local Government Performance Index – June 29, 2012
The Local Government Performance Index affords users the ability to compare financial data among Canadian municipalities.
Co-operation Win-Win for Unions, Taxpayers – March 7, 2012
Winnipeg City Council should be applauded for dipping its toes into the waters of real reform. Under managed competition, a system that allows management and unions an opportunity to cut costs and improve services before the city considers going to competitive bidding.
Public Sector Wages Sap Alberta's Revenues – January 20, 2012
Alberta's public sector wage bill has increased nearly twice as fast as the national aver-age over the past decade, according to a new University of Calgary study.
City Can’t Be Its Own Watchdog – January 9, 2012
Recent sewage spills into the Red River could have been prevented if the utility was privately-owned as it would have actually faced fines, instead of a slap on the wrist.
Council Tackles Shortage of Taxis – December 20, 2011
City hall is contemplating a major overhaul of late-night cab and public transit service in Calgary, as holiday revellers com-plain they are being squeezed by a "perfect storm" of travel hindrances.
Municipal Mythologies – December 9, 2011
In a world with scarce resources, people want more money spent on something than what is available. But that is not a “deficit.” Otherwise, we have health, education and social deficits, to name a few. In principle, optimal spending would be based on a benefit-cost calculus and programs rejected if benefits are less than cost.
Citizens Can't Wait for Transparency – November 22, 2011
According to Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams, "There is no fixed timeline for municipalities to be brought under the Right to Information and Access to Privacy Act." Apparently the provincial government has been consulting with municipalities about an appropriate timeline.
Is the City Making the Grade When it Comes to Transparency? – October 13, 2011
Today's column, as was last week's, is in response to an article in this newspaper last week that read, in part: "City staff is fending off criticisms that it refused to disclose records on public spending, saying the municipality has made great strides to give the public access to government reports and budgets."
Tale of Many Cities Managing Growth – August 3, 2011
I had an interesting chat the other day with my friend, Michael Zwaagstra, as we were visiting their place in Steinbach, Man. In addition to being a published author on the subject of education and a school teacher, Michael is also a second term city councillor for the City of Steinbach.
Removing Socialism From the NDP – June 23, 2011
Beyond the political implications of modernizing its image, removing old ideological baggage from its party constitution would help the NDP enter the world of smart policies.
Winnipeg Bounces Back - Deja Vu from 2000 – June 3, 2011
Winnipeg, the grande dame of Canada’s West, is thriving despite a persistently negative and frequently uninformed profile in the national media.
Will More Police Officers Solve Winnipeg’s Crime Issues? – May 25, 2011
Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz is fulfilling his pledge to hire more police officers, but recent data shows more police may not necessarily be the answer to Winnipeg’s crime problems.
Kelowna Budget Carryover Requests Approved – March 31, 2011
More than $94.2 million in operating and capital carryover expenditures will be added to the City of Kelowna 2011 budget.
Truth or Consequences: Your Call, Saint John – February 28, 2011
Sometimes when I want to get a snapshot of what the people are thinking, I go to the newspaper's online site. At the top of the list, both in terms of most read and most commented, was "Pothole Pandemonium" (Feb. 18) with 33 comments mostly critical of the condition of our streets with literally hundreds of thumbs-up. However, one particular comment unrelated to the public's growing disenchantment with the condition of our streets caught my attention.