Many Ontarians have likely heard a horror story or two about their government’s growing debt and the resulting strain on public finances. You can’t blame them. Sources of evidence abound.
The City of Vancouver is the only municipality in B.C. that can directly take on debt without permission from the provincial and regional governments. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is also the only municipality in the Metro region with liabilities (debt, employee pension obligations, etc) consistently greater than financial assets (cash, investments, etc).
Asking for more money is common among municipal officials. Despite soaring transfers from higher level governments, municipalities repeatedly claim they need more because their revenue sources lack growth potential.