This page presents links related to reports and databases mentioned elsewhere on this site. Tested and updated March 23 2015.
1. Statements of Financial Information
The Government of B.C. requires arms-length provincial agencies and local governments to publish annual financial statements. These documents include lists of all employees with salaries higher than $70,000, and of payments made to suppliers including consultants.
Each organization’s Statement of Financial Information must be prepared in accordance with the Financial Information Act. The SOFI must be made available for public viewing by June 30 each year and be accessible for the following three years. .
In most local governments I have sampled, between 35 and 45 per cent of the total payroll goes to employees earning more than $75,000 per year (check Port Coquitlam, Richmond, and City of Vancouver.) In Surrey, for some reason, the figure is 75 per cent. At Metro Vancouver, about 65 per cent of the payroll goes to the higher-paid employees; at TransLink, the figure is above 75 per cent.
2. Government of B.C. Local Government Statistics
The Province has published comparisons of tax rates and representative property tax payments from all municipalities in B.C.
3. Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy
This 2011 document replaces the Livable Region Strategy from the mid-1990s. As noted on fraseropolis.com, the Strategy has already seen minor amendments and will be the subject of further amendment proposals in 2012.
One objective of the strategy is to protect industrial land. The regional authority’s website offers an industrial land inventory, maps and an ongoing discussion on the possible “intensification” of industrial land use.
4. Housing Affordability and Diversity in Metro Vancouver
This report, submitted to the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation in June 2011, went almost unnoticed. It points out a wide disparity in policies and attitudes among local governments around a 2007 regional strategy that was supposed to promote housing affordability. The Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book (2015) takes a community-by-community look at housing affordability.
5. Child Poverty in Metro Vancouver
The BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition published a regional child poverty report in 2014 based on Statistics Canada data, including detailed maps.
6. Fraseropolis Populations by Municipality
The neatest statement of Metro Vancouver community populations is shown in a single sheet developed by the Metro Vancouver authority, showing trends from 2001 to 2011.
The Fraser Valley district authority shows 2011 populations by municipality on the “Statistics” page of its website.
7. Fraser Valley Regional District Regional Growth Strategy
The FVRD growth strategy dates from 2004. With a population one-tenth the size of Metro Vancouver’s, the Fraser Valley faces a different set of challenges.
8. Plans for transit in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
The South Coast B.C. Transportation Authority was conceived as a one-stop planner and funder for regional roads and bridges, rapid transit and bus transit.
Friction between local politicians and the provincial government led to the imposition of a complex, and many would say unworkable structure of governance. Newly-appointed directors are provided with a hefty Governance Manual to study. The annual base plan, updated most recently in 2014, sets out the authority’s financial and service objectives. The TransLink strategic plan, which often seems to be in a state of review and revision, says something about longer-term hopes and dreams.
Public transit in the Fraser Valley Regional District is operated by BC Transit, a provincial agency. BC Transit produced a Mission-Abbotsford transit plan in 2013.
9. Port Mann Highway 1 Project
The construction of a new Port Mann Bridge, combined with the widening and upgrading of Highway 1 from Langley to Vancouver, continued through 2014. The new bridge is to be paid for by user tolls. The provincial Transportation Investment Corporation’s current service plan looks out to 2017.
10. Public Libraries in B.C. – Comparative Financial and Usage Information
Local governments provide most of the operating funding for B.C. libraries. The B.C. government maintains an annually updated spreadsheet with detailed statistics on library operations.
11. Policing in B.C. – Community-by-Community Costs and Detachment Sizes
The Province issued a survey in 2013 of policing costs and number of officers deployed in B.C., including officers on federal assignments. The document also describes different models of police funding and governance.
The province also commissioned and published a consultant’s report on the governance of city police boards in 2003.
12. Monthly Home Price Tracker
The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board’s MLS Link Housing Price Tracker is updated monthly. It demonstrates the huge discrepancies in housing affordability across the region — with average prices for a representative detached home on the west side of Vancouver sitting at $2.4 million in February 2014, up more than 40 per cent over five years, and Maple Ridge sitting at $480,000, up two per cent in the same period. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board publishes a similar statistics package for southern Metro (Delta, Surrey, Langley) and the Valley proper.
13. The Agricultural Land Reserve
The Metro Vancouver authority published a 2011 federal census bulletin on the value of agriculture in Fraseropolis. The Fraser Valey Regional District authority has a snapshot on agriculture based on 2006 numbers.