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.
The Price is Right – June 3, 2011
As Canadian cities continue to grow, parking troubles will increase. Setting prices according to demand may be a sound technological solution.
Winning the Battle with Traffic Congestion – August 10, 2010
Instead of increasing road capacity, Canada’s government agencies should implement accurate transport pricing.
Creating Proper Incentives for Canada’s Cities Through Smart Provincial Legislation – January 27, 2010
Frontier senior fellow Larry Mitchell on reforming Canada’s antiquated municipal government legislation: Canadian municipal law is characterized by its prescriptive rules-based codes of compliance. These contrast starkly with other jurisdiction’s local government law. Modern local government laws of other countries seek to facilitate best-management practice by setting outcomes rather than rules; they construct a performance and service-delivery framework designed to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of local taxpayers and residents. Good local government law promotes good local government.
2009 Local Government Performance Index – December 8, 2009
An easily accessible index of financial statistics and assessments of reporting standards for 88 Canadian municipalities.
Pulling Back the Curtain – October 23, 2009
How well do Regina and Saskatoon stack up on their ability to be transparent in the services, costs and effectiveness when compared with other Canadian cities? A new Frontier study explains where they miss the mark but can improve.
Who Owns Taxi Licences? – September 14, 2009
Taxi regulation is almost unique in Canada because it controls the price and quantity supplied to market, rather than just the quality or safety. This approach creates a number of primary and secondary economic effects that are difficult for voters to understand. Because governments should act with the informed consent of their people, the onus should be on municipalities to report the effects of their regulatory activities on taxis and consumers. But most city websites show that such disclosure is abysmal and often absent.
Expropriating for Economic Development: A Carte Blanche for Municipal Mismanagement – July 27, 2009
Provincial legislators should eliminate the practice of allowing municipal expropriation for economic development purposes as it allows for sweeping governmental abuse.
Getting a Better Bang for the Pothole Buck – July 13, 2009
The perennial game of political football over who should fund rural roads could end with better integrated engineering and accounting practices that identify the most damaging road uses; then, Canadian governments could charge users according to the maintenance they necessitate.
Why a ‘Living Wage’ Doesn’t Kill Poverty – March 2, 2009
Calgary is on the verge of becoming the first city in Canada to implement a living wage. While the initial costs of a living wage may appear small, the policy can have a significant impact on business profits, may lead to labour market distortions and appears poorly targeted. Many of the potential beneficiaries of a living wage may not be in poverty to begin with.
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index – December 3, 2008
Comparing the financial health and financial reporting standards of Canada’s largest municipalities.
Subject to Approval – November 26, 2008
The choice of early Canadians to remain closely tied to the British Empire had a major impact on the development of property rights in this country. Although we as a society tend to see ourselves as having more in common with the United States than with the United Kingdom, our system of land ownership, more accurately called real property ownership, does not permit the same level of rights and freedoms over the land we hold as the U.S. system affords. In the United States, landowners usually hold title to the mineral resources located beneath their land; in Canada, this is never the case.
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index - BC Regional Report – November 19, 2008
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index - Prairies Regional Report – November 19, 2008
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index - Ontario Regional Report – November 19, 2008
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index - Atlantic Canada Regional Report – November 19, 2008
The 2008 Local Government Performance Index - Quebec Regional Report – November 19, 2008
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Governments – April 21, 2008
This report identifies seven areas where the new provincial government, Members of Legislative Assembly, and staff, should review and reform existing government policy measures.
The 2007 Local Government Performance Index – November 27, 2007
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Water/Wastewater Privatization – May 28, 2006
Privatized water and wastewater systems have excellent track records for maintaining environmental and health standards.