The Community Charter requires local governments to approve a Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw each year.
Purpose of the Financial Plan
The Financial Plan provides the City with clear direction, ensuring that its work is continually aligned with Council’s strategic priorities, achievable within the annual budget, and responsive to the needs of residents. It also fosters transparency and fiscal accountability to residents.
The current year in the Five-Year Financial Plan forms the annual budget that is informed by the development of annual business plans and ensures the resources needed to deliver the wide range of services to our citizens are balanced against the City's revenues. The Financial Plan identifies both operating and capital expenditures balanced against revenues from such sources as:
- property tax
- sale of services, including utility charges
- development cost charges
- transfers from other governments
Development of the Financial Plan
Each fall, City departmental business plans based on robust financial planning and analysis, staff input, Council direction and resident feedback heard throughout the year are presented to Council and the community. The plans represent staff’s best recommendations for key initiatives, budgets, and the Five-Year Financial Plan. A Business Plan is a guide to how the City's goals, as outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan, are to be achieved. The Plan identifies the key activities to be undertaken by each Department and the resources (budget) required to deliver programs and services in support of Council's goals and objectives.
Business plans are approved by Council and are reviewed and revised annually to ensure they remain current and responsive to newly emerging issues, challenges and changing conditions.
Additionally, the City must produce annual audited financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles through the Public Sector Accounting Board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. The audited statements must be included in the Annual Report.
Annual Budget Process and Timeline
The City’s budget process is a continuous cycle. The budget is prepared, reviewed, debated, changed and approved by the department managers, Corporate Leadership Team, and City Council. The Financial Plan is updated every year, along with the Business Plan.