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Municipal spending surpasses population growth

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Grande Prairie’s municipal spending is more than double the population increase. That’s according to the Municipal Spending Watch Report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses.

The city ranked 115th out of 182 municipalities in Alberta. The report showed that over a 10 year time span from 2006 to 2016, Grande Prairie’s population increased 54 per cent. In the same time period, the municipal government’s spending more than doubled for the population increase at 124 per cent.

CFIB says it is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses. Provincial Affairs Director Amber Ruddy says this type of spending can have a big impact on people.

“Excessive municipal spending leads to increases in property taxes which has been a major pinch point for small business owners who have struggled through a difficult year. Current municipal spending patterns are unsustainable, and may have huge implications on the profitability of small business owners in this jittery economy.”

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Ruddy says that in order to bring spending back to sustainable levels, local governments can limit spending to no more than inflation and population growth, implement sustainable wage and benefit policies and contract out services to the private sector where appropriate.

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