Businessman Tim Banks is calling on P.E.I.’s auditor general to look into Charlottetown’s affairs in light of a Maclean’s magazine survey on Canada’s best- and worst-run cities.
Charlottetown stands 29th out of 31 cities, ahead of Laval, Que., and Victoria but only because Maclean’s indicates it had incomplete data on the two cities. That drops the P.E.I. capital into last place.
The magazine looked at which cities provide the best services for per taxpayer’s buck to gauge the effectiveness of municipalities across the country. “It was no surprise to me, none whatsoever, particularly on the economic development side of it, Banks said Wednesday. ”We don’t even have a business plan and we don’t have a concept. The report is bang-on that they’re dead last.”
The Maclean’s survey was conducted by Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a public policy think-tank. AIMS based the ranking on tracking performance in areas such as socio-economic status, crime, fire services, transportation, road and sewer conditions, economic development, recreational spending along with things like voter turnout and library use. “It is much more difficult to start a business in Charlottetown … or get bang for your bucks paid in municipal taxes or to find a park or anyone who takes the bus, the Maclean’s article states.”
“Charlottetown had the highest per capita economic development and infrastructure costs in the country.” AIMS gives the city an F in terms of immigration population and takes issue with the city’s vacancy problem, stating “there are 45 vacant buildings in Charlottetown’s downtown core.”
Mayor Clifford Lee said the city remains receptive to comparisons and statistical information.
“We will endeavour to learn as much as we can from the data produced in the AIMS study to improve city operations, provide value to our citizens and realize the maximum potential in our community,” he said.