A new report into the performance of Nova Scotia’s municipalities puts Halifax in the middle of the pack in balancing the cost of government with the quality of services.
The Halifax Regional Municipality scored a B- in the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies report, released on Wednesday. HRM is ranked at No. 12 in the report, but shares the B- grade with 31 other municipalities.
The report breaks up seven categories — governance and finance, taxation, economic development, safety, transportation, the environment, and recreation and culture — into two measures — efficiency and effectiveness.
Efficiency deals with how municipalities spend their resources, while effectiveness looks at how well services are delivered and whether they achieve the desired result. Co-author Jamie Newman said the report’s strength lies in being able to compare the costs and levels of services across municipal boundaries.
“Yes, you are an expert on the services that you are provided,” said Newman, “but you probably have become accustomed to a certain level of service and paying a certain rate, and probably have little idea about the services that your neighbouring communities are receiving.”
The report only deals with Nova Scotia municipalities, and does not give any indication about how the municipalities rank as a whole versus municipalities in other provinces. In other words, while Stellarton ranks first in the report, there is no indication Stellarton performs better than Sackville, N.B.
A full copy of the report is available at aims.ca/en/home/reportcards.