It’s a first for Canada. A national municipal performance report for 31 cities across the country.

The AIMS’ report not only tells us whether we receive good municipal service, but also whether we pay too much for those services. The report grades Canada’s largest cities and capitals based on the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery using a three year average (2005, 2006 and 2007).

“What makes this report unique is that the methodology compares both actual and in context performance,” says AIMS Executive Vice President Charles Cirtwill. “So you can see your city’s performance considering such factors as population and socio-economic status.”

Cirtwill explains that any city with an overall grade of “C+” is considered average. Cities performing above that are doing well. They generally provide you good service at a reasonable price. Cities receiving a lower grade may provide a poor service at a low price, or good service at a high price, or poor service at a high price.

“This is about allowing you to judge the performance of your city,” says Cirtwill. “In the end, only the taxpayer can judge the balance between the services received and the money spent. You may not mind paying a lot of municipal tax to help pay for high-end snow clearing, but to enter that debate you need to be informed. That’s what this performance report does.”

AIMS’ policy analyst Holly Chisholm spent months gathering publicly available information on Canada’s largest cities and capitals. The grade is determined by inputs and outcomes. Inputs cover such things as population, financial history and socio-economic status. The outcomes are the measures where we actually assign grades to cities based on their own performance.

These outcomes include governance and finance, taxation, safety and protection, transportation, environmental health, economic development and recreation and culture*. The full explanation of what is included under each measure is found in the guide to the National Municipal Performance Report on the AIMS website at .

Macleans used the AIMS’ National Municipal Performance Report for its issue on Canada’s Best Managed Cities.  

To read the complete AIMS’ report, click here.

Follow this link to the guide to the report.

To read the Technical Appendix to this report, click here.

Looking for more information? Click here for links to all the information collected for this report.