STEWIACKE – The Town of Stewiacke is all smiles after a recently released report card on Nova Scotia Municipalities graded the community as a C+ and ranked it 22nd out of the province’s 55 municipalities.

Meanwhile, the Municipality of East Hants finished with a similar C+ grade, finishing just five spots ahead of Stewiacke in 17th place.

The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) report, the first-ever by the Halifax-based consulting group, shows a breakdown of grades and ranks with individual measures making up the final grade. It was released through their official website,

At Stewiacke council’s committee of the whole meeting on April 9, Mayor Dereck Rhoddy read the town’s grade. The mark included three A- in safety and protection, something the mayor was overly pleased with.

“It made me think that we’re doing something good,” Rhoddy said.

The town was particularly proud of the fact they were better than Colchester County in the study. Colchester County and the Municipality of East Hants received no A scores.

“It (the report card) proves our sustainability,” Rhoddy added.

Other grades for the town included D+ overall for governance and finance, a C overall in taxation, D for transportation, D- overall for Environmental health, C+ for economic development and a score of D in recreation and culture.

The letter that accompanied the town’s performance rating sheet said the ready-reference guide will help enable council to understand the report.

“We encourage your community and council to use this report card as part of an overall review of performance,” Charles Cirtwill, executive vice president with AIMS, said in the letter. “Combining the AIMS report with other data available to the municipality and with individual perspective for tax payers, businesses, councillors and administrators will allow for a full and informed discussion about how your municipality is doing and where you can focus efforts to improve.”

East Hants received an overall C- grade for efficiency and effectiveness in governance and finance, a C in taxation, a C+ in safety and protection efficiency and a B+ in effectiveness. Transportation in the municipality received a B grade, Environmental health efficiency received a B- while its effectiveness had a C mark, economic development had grades of C- in both efficiency and effectiveness and recreation and culture had a B- grade.

Warden John Patterson said he had only taken a brief look at the report and hadn’t had a chance to go over it with staff. He did say they were asked to participate by submitting information, but did not, so AIMS got their information to meet their criteria from some other source.

“I would say ranking 17th is good, but having said that I’m not exactly sure what criteria they used for that ranking,” Patterson said. “I can’t really comment on something I haven’t looked at it or gone over it real good with staff.”