There was a news interview this week on tv in which the person being interviewed noted that of all the municipal services, libraries were the most fiscally responsible in cases where there were amalgamation. I could not find this interview online but I did find this report which includes a note about this:
“To what extent has amalgamation succeeded in achieving its goals?
A More Efficient City Government?
The Golden Report warned that “the benefits of amalgamation and consolidation are often over-stated.”2
Yet the Province adamantly defended its position, claiming that the move was essential to the city’s fiscal health. To what extent did the new City of Toronto meet its intended goal of saving money? In her remarks, Enid Slack discussed research attempting to quantify the impact of amalgamation. In a 2013 study, she and Richard Bird compared expenditures (per household, adjusted for inflation) in the pre- and post-amalgamation periods across four policy areas – fire protection, parks and recreation, garbage collection, and libraries – all of which had been under the responsibility of the lower-tier municipalities. With one exception – libraries – these expenditures all increased after amalgamation. “