Fraser Institute News Release: Per-person municipal government spending up 15.2 per cent on average in 17 municipalities across Metro Vancouver, 2009 to 2019

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Per-person spending has increased across all 17 Metro Vancouver municipalities between 2009 and 2019, after accounting for inflation, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Municipal government spending has increased significantly across all the 17 major municipalities in Metro Vancouver, and, naturally, with spending comes taxation,” said Garreth Bloor, policy analyst at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Comparing Per Person Spending and Revenue in Metro Vancouver, 2009-2019.

In 2019, West Vancouver was the highest spender ($3,267 per person) followed by New Westminster ($2,558) and Vancouver ($2,415), while Surrey spent the least ($1,435 per person).

The largest increase was 27.7 per cent in White Rock, which moved them from 11th highest spender in 2009 to 8th highest in 2019.

The City of Maple Ridge recorded the smallest increase at 2.6 per cent, which dropped them 1 place in the ranking, from 15th in 2009 to 16th in 2019.

Not surprisingly, there is a connection between high spending municipalities and high tax municipalities. For instance, West Vancouver, the highest spending municipality is also the 2nd highest taxing municipality (total per person adjusted for inflation) in 2019. Similarly, New Westminster and the City of Vancouver both ranked highly in spending per person (2nd and 3rd, respectively) as well as per person revenues (4th and 5th, respectively).

“Municipalities that decide through the democratic process to spend more, also have to impose higher taxes on their residents—the basic data provided in this study helps residents in Metro Vancouver understand their comparative level of municipal spending and taxing,” said Bloor.

Garreth Bloor, Policy Analyst
Fraser Institute

Jason Clemens, Executive Vice-President
Fraser Institute

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit