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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found this fun and useful bit on SSP posted by Architype. The graphs are actually pretty extensive, so do check out the website.

Canada’s best and worst run cities

This survey, the first of its kind in Canada, provides citizens in 31 cities across the country with comparative data on how well—or poorly—their city is run, measured by the cost and quality of the public services it delivers. (Why 31? We took the 30 largest cities in Canada, added whatever provincial capitals were not on the list, then subtracted a few cities from the Greater Toronto Area for better regional balance. Somehow that left 31.)

Though the overall results—Burnaby, Saskatoon and Surrey, B.C. lead the pack; Charlottetown, Kingston, Ont., and Fredericton trail—will be of particular interest, they are less important than the process this is intended to kick off. We aim not merely to start some good barroom arguments, but to help voters to hold their representatives to better account, and indeed to help city governments themselves. For without some sort of yardstick to measure their performance, either against other cities or against their own past record, how can they hope to know whether they are succeeding?
See the article and rankings in detail here:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/07/16/canadas-best-and-worst-run-cities/
 

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Considering how responsibilities are different in each province and in the case of Ontario, in each region depending on local government structure, I don't see this as a fair comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I purposely bolded the important part of the article to prevent the thread from heading in the direction it's headed now =( It looks like Vid saw the yellow chart and therefore decided to not endorse the study, lol. Obviously every city has different conditions, and the study will never please the boosters, but this is useful for relative numbers within cities... which departments are better managed, what is lacking, etc. For myself, I went straight to the tables on taxation and cost of doing business.

I'm surprised Vancouver didn't get an F for efficiency for efficiency of police protection. The cops here spend all their time pulling over teen porsche drivers and establishing yet more "task forces" to combat whatever.
 

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I am surprised that Toronto is rated so highly.

Considering there has been regular labour unrest and continually increasing taxes (land transfer tax, plastic bag tax, vehicle registration tax, etc...) under Mayer David Miller. Oh.. and there's been a month long garbage strike. The city STINKS.
 

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Speaking of garbage strike, I'm actually quite shocked at how clean the city still is. My boyfriend works in the tourist industry and he's had tourists around the world shocked at how little trash there is, even considering how long the strike has been.
 

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It looks like Vid saw the yellow chart and therefore decided to not endorse the study, lol.
The city government saw the table of how many civil servants were in each city and raised the alarm that this is not a fair comparison. In its annual report to the province, Thunder Bay counts police, employees of homes for the aged and employees of the district social services board (a regional quasi-government; many of its employees don't even work in the city) as civil servants, while Guelph excludes its police and transit system and cities like Kitchener don't even have those responsibilities. They also didn't look at existing initiatives in those cities. In the category of how much of a tax burden is placed on businesses, Thunder Bay scored F (which is true: we basically punish businesses for locating here) but is currently working on a plan to decrease their burden as well. Was that not taken into consideration?

Burnaby and Surrey, two of the top cities, are suburbs of Vancouver, and both of Montréal's suburbs were included--but Mississauga the tenth largest municipality in the country, Oshawa and Kitchener, the eleventh largest CMA in the country, were excluded to keep it from having a "Toronto" bias? Two of the top cities don't operate a transit system or provide social housing or maintain highways. Mine does. So how can these municipalities be a fair comparison?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Burnaby and Surrey, two of the top cities, are suburbs of Vancouver, and both of Montréal's suburbs were included--but Mississauga the tenth largest municipality in the country, Oshawa and Kitchener, the eleventh largest CMA in the country, were excluded to keep it from having a "Toronto" bias? Two of the top cities don't operate a transit system or provide social housing or maintain highways. Mine does. So how can these municipalities be a fair comparison?
I'm also pretty surprised Mississauga and KW aren't on this survey. Mississauga would definitely be right up there with Surrey.

The city government saw the table of how many civil servants were in each city and raised the alarm that this is not a fair comparison. In its annual report to the province, Thunder Bay counts police, employees of homes for the aged and employees of the district social services board (a regional quasi-government; many of its employees don't even work in the city) as civil servants, while Guelph excludes its police and transit system and cities like Kitchener don't even have those responsibilities. They also didn't look at existing initiatives in those cities. In the category of how much of a tax burden is placed on businesses, Thunder Bay scored F (which is true: we basically punish businesses for locating here) but is currently working on a plan to decrease their burden as well. Was that not taken into consideration?
Keep in mind that the right side of the chart shows the in-context values for those departments. Though I agree, this wouldn't be the most useful study for determining which city is better than which... but I don't think it's supposed to be used that way anyway...
 

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But it is kind of hard to use it in a meaningful discussion at the city level when all they did was grab numbers from provincial ministries without actually looking into how the city operates.
 

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I understand why they left the North, but why did they get rid of Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Burlington, Richmond Hill, Markham, Oakville, and Kitchener?

I mean, Mississauga has the potential to blow Burnaby out of the water. Tons of parks, safest large city, nice transportation system, debt-free, well-managed infrastructure, and the list goes on... Plus its planned "downtown" will host many parks.

Meanwhile, Brampton, Oakville and Kitchener have good planning as well, considering how Brampton copes up with ever-increasing population, and Kitchener-Waterloo planning to put an LRT along their busy corridor.

Vancouver has 3 suburbs in the survey, Montreal has 2, Toronto... NONE? (7 are on the top 30).

They are different municipalities, therefore, each has different people that run a certain city or town.
It's not about the balance for each province. IMO, it doesn't matter, because they are different people, anyway...

edit: oops... i haven't read too much. :lol:
 

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Here is some explanation about some Ontario cities being excluded:

There are 31 cities in this performance report. These cities represent the drivers of the country,
they are our largest cities and our capitals and therefore most recognizable.
The only large cities not captured are those Ontario cities classified as multi tier municipalities,
these are cities that have another level of government providing municipal services
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http://quizzes.macleans.ca/cities/docs/NMPRAppendix.pdf
 
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