Fraser Institute study says municipal politicians can’t cry poor

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Fraser Institute study says municipal politicians can't cry poor

A new study from a BC think tank suggests city halls in Metro Vancouver need to rein in their spending.

The study, which looks at data from 2002 to 2012, suggests municipal spending has gone up by 74%, up to $3.3 billion.

Charles Lammam with the Fraser Institute says local politicians have long been complaining a lack of cash.

But he says revenues over that 10-year-period have grown by 86%.

He say, “So this idea that municipalities are not getting revenues doesn’t seem to hold water.”

He says cities need to temper their spending on things like policing if they want things they say they need cash for, like infrastructure.


  1. The right wing think tank is on a roll and more to come, just before an election, I bet their favorites are the NPA! I think the NPA are getting their training these days by the Preston Manning center that representatives from the center came for a visit with the NPA.The headlines the comeback kids of the NPA. Now they say get rid of the Cops when people scream for more!

      • Duh. Control spending and limit tax increases? This is some sort of break-through concept for the right wing? A 10-year-old could figure that out in five minutes.

        The right wing doesn’t believe in that kind of “common sense”. Their sole objective is to maintain political power. That means reducing spending on things that are important to most Canadians, but not to the redneck voting base, and then reducing taxes correspondingly – in order to buy votes.

        • Spoken like a true Dipper . . .
          One who thinks corporations actually pay taxes rather than add them into the costs of their goods and service.

          Yes Dang . . . fact is the govt has more than enough of my money . . .

          IS common-sense the reason that all Socialist and leftist countries on the planet are either broke or going broke?

  2. Interesting that you should bring up “policing”
    It is very noticeable the amount of money that police have.

    I have found it nothing short of amazing that police have enough money for tv and radio ads. I never knew it was their mandate to inspire or promote. I always thought it was to enforce.

    I noticed too that they had the money to remove the decades old painted slogan that once adorned their marked cruisers ….”to serve and to protect” .

    • Police spend virtually nothing on advertising. Whatever you see is a “public service message”, which the media does not charge for.

      As for your “enforcement only” idea, get a grip. The primary job is to prevent crime. Catching bad guys comes second, if that. That should have been obvious from the old slogan that you seem to like.

  3. Asmuch as I dislike Mayr Moonbeam and his Vision Vancouver wingnuts , Mr Lammam is talking through his hat. The Feds and Provincial governments have downloaded so much onto the cities that there has to be a commenserate increase in spending. As for foregoing increases in Policeing , this is an absolute non starter . With all of the mentallly challenged people wandering the streets , the police have become the defacto first level response and this is requiring a huge amount of resources , that is being diverted from providing coverage for the rest of us .

  4. What we really need are fewer Tea Party groups like the Fraser Institute and the Taxpayers Federation spewing anti-tax rhetoric. They pick and choose a few examples of poor spending practices (of which there are many) and spin them into the false idea that all government spending is bad.

    That’s why most politicians run (and get elected) on a “no tax increase” promise. They fail to mention – and voters don’t ask – how we will continue to repair and improve infrastructure; how we will keep up with rapid growth without hiring more police and firefighters; how we will deal with gridlock without investing in transit.

    Poorly spent, taxes are annoying. Properly spent, they’re a necessity. If a politician promises no tax increases, ask him/her how (exactly) they plan to keep your community healthy. They will have no sensible answers.

    • “That’s why most politicians run (and get elected) on a “no tax increase” promise.”?

      You mean folks like Sillinger in MB or McGuilty in ON ? The are both far-left loons and that is their game . . . lie to the folks and then rob them ! ! !

      • Virtually every politician in Canada, from city to federal, was elected on a “no tax promise”. The most famous is your boss, Stephen Harper, who continues to cut taxes to the bone (for political reasons) and cut spending (to make himself look good).

        But like all thoughtless politicians, he didn’t REALLY cut spending – he just pushed the responsibility down to the provinces, who in turn pushed it down to the municipalities. What none of these slugs seem to realize is that there is only one taxpayer, and the bills will have to be paid. Real bills.

        • Here’s where you are WRONG again Dang . . .

          Back in 06 Harper promised to reduce the GST . . . he did !
          Harper promised income sharing for retired folks . . . he DELIVERED!

          Harper will soon have a Balanced Budget . . . one of the FEW countries on the planet.

          Of course your idols are the Soclalist paradises of Greece, Spain and France . . . all either broke or going broke.

  5. They need to look into the provincial governments spending , $50,000 for a computer in the legislature. 120,000 for a sculpture at surrey hospital. The list goes on and on

    • So far, you’ve come up with $170,000 in wasteful spending, out of $3,300,000,000. Got any more? Or do you believe, as the Taxpayers Federation does, that every nickel of spending is wasteful?

      • Dangler, would you be kind enough to satisfy my curiosity ?? Right now I pay close to 50% of my income to the Government. What do you think is a “reasonable” amount of taxation? 60% ? 70% ??? At what point do you feel the level should be ?

        • That would depend on what you think is a reasonable level of spending for sensible things. What are you prepared to eliminate (not including “waste”, which is obvious)?

          There is no correct taxation number, because taxation is (and should be) driven by what the society wants or needs to spend tax dollars on.

          That’s the problem with politicians. They rarely tell voters exactly where they’re going to spend our money … and then prompt;ly promise to cut taxes. Childish nonsense.

          • So, if I understand you correctly, if Politicians decided that they needed 95% of your income as tax that would be fine with you ?? Just trying to get a handle on where you might draw the line.

  6. Durign the last ten years property taxes more than doubled for many who still manages to live in Vancouver. At the same time services declined like garbage is picked up every SECOND week.

    Taxation of property Values is an other form of ‘wealth transfer’ and nothing but excessive money grab without the city providing services. RIghtwing or leftwing politicians rip off residents, home owners or renters to provide money for their out of control spending they are not held personally responsible.

    One would thing with the ‘densification’ policies the ever increasing population paying more taxes there won’t be any need to regularly increase taxes. The exact opposite happens to be the documentable fact. Having a chance to change elected politicians now every FOUR years is not good enough at all.

  7. In most municipalities, property tax rates have increased at rates greater than the rate of inflation and greater than the rate of population growth. Municipal politicians constantly want to expand the services and activities they are involved in, and then complain that they don’t have money for core services.

    Recently, in Nanaimo, the council agreed to pay triple the assessed value for the purchase of some land for parks purposes, and many of the councillors made it clear that they would have paid anything for this land-the sky was the limit. This typifies how spending is done in municipatalities.

  8. Municipalities are out of control with their spending there is no doubt. The other spending offender are the so called Regional Districts. These third and fourth levels of government are bloated with a public service that are overpaid. Just like the Federal and Provincial governments.

    Bottom line, taxation is too high!

  9. What we need around here are fewer municipalities. We have something like 22 cities and just over 2 million people. It’s ridiculous. Why do we need 22 mayors, councils, planning departments, finance departments, parks departments, etc etc for such a relatively small area? Every city has it’s own police department be it RCMP or City.

    Why do we put up with this stupidity? The amount of money saved if we had only 3-4 cities in this area would be huge!

    • Worry not, Kimberly, this whole problem will rectify itself. It won’t be pretty but it will fix itself. The whole system will collapse under its own weight ( B.C. alone already owes around 150 Billion dollars) and we will have to start all over again. The greed and entitlement in our society can’t just carry on as if it can go on forever. The day of reckoning will arrive. All you can hope for (like I do) is that you’re dead and gone by the time this happens. But, rest assured, it will happen.

  10. Does whoever is deciding how much developers must pay to provide NEW SERVICES for the people who will live in their new high rises and ‘densified’ areas?

    There was the ‘statistics’, at least from one source that found every person in Vancouver area uses up around 400 liters of water DAILY. That’s 146,000 liter a year / person. Was there any price figured out how much does it cost to store and deliver that amount of water a high rise with perhaps One Thousand people living there? And to expand the sewer system to carry away the waste? How much it cost to provide policing for the newly settled additional people? Providing basic Hospital care, ER. Schools and road? And CHARGE the developers accordingly? so current resident will not be penalized, having the increased COST OF SERVICED passed on to home owners, having water restriction for one thing. Traffic density doubling, and a lot of etc?