A municipal auditor

We are promised a municipal auditor. This is a move we strongly approve of and which is long overdue. It is time our municipal administrations had oversight, a Sheila Fraser like oversight, especially as municipal entities are taking on more fiscal and social responsibilities.

Municipal Relations Minister Jamie Muir tabled an amendment to the Municipal Government Act on Monday that would pave the way for such an appointment.

“There is no doubt that a municipal auditor will provide additional transparency,” Mr. Muir told reporters at Province House.

“Although other provinces have a municipal auditor for larger urban centres, Nova Scotia will be the first jurisdiction to propose a municipal auditor general for all the municipalities.”

Mr. Muir said right now municipalities are monitoring their own finances.

“I expect there will be a learning curve,” the minister said with a chuckle. “There is for anybody that encounters an auditor general for the first time. And you don’t always agree with auditors general.”[link to source]

We hope that Wolfville, with its prominence and influence provincially and nationally, will be one of the first to get an inspection. Our deputy mayor will have no worries we suppose as he suggested a forensic audit (of the type a municipal auditor might be expected to produce) was not at all necessary in Wolfville as it is so well run. It shouldn’t therefore take long for a new municipal auditor to breeze through here and give Wolfville a clean bill of health … or maybe a little correction.

But since an auditor might not be appointed for some time it may be a newly constituted Council which welcomes this watchdog at the door.

The appointment of a municipal auditor was part of a memorandum of understanding between the province and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities in November.

Mr. Muir said the legislation he brought forward would not be proclaimed for 12 months in order to give municipalities adequate notice and allow the UNSM to work on details such as financing the position and setting up an office.

We have to say we agree also with the other amendments to the MGA mentioned in the CH report of the list produced by the minister responsible.

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