Niagara Region continues to maintain its “AA” credit rating, with a stable outlook, according to an Oct. 8, 2019 confirmation report released by credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s.
The stable rating comes as a result of the Region’s solid budgetary performance, strong financial management, as well as very ample liquidity.
Niagara Region has shown increased focus on long-term strategic and financial planning, which is supported by its financial policies. Standard and Poor's notes that the long-term plans present a good level of detail and are based on well-documented and realistic assumptions. Disclosure and transparency in financial reporting are also identified as good, with debt and liquidity management practices being considered prudent.
The credit rating agency highlighted that financial management is strong and institutions remain broadly supportive. However, in Standard and Poor's opinion, slow population growth and weak demographic trends result in a less favourable socioeconomic profile, which is a rating constraint. Having said that, Standard and Poor's notes that “…the expansion of GO commuter train service in the region could increase the influx of younger people and start reversing these trends [less favorable socioeconomic profile]”.One item that the report points out is related to Ontario’s ongoing regional government review which could have an impact on the Region’s credit profile. Standard and Poor's will continue to monitor the developments of the regional governance review.
"The report from credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s is a positive reflection on the management of the Region’s fiscal resources. We are proud to continue to have the AA rating which highlights both our successful budgetary process and the hard work of our talented staff."
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair
"We are proud of the hard work our staff have undertaken to maintain the stable AA credit rating. Our solid financial management practices are clearly displayed in this 2019 rating from Standard and Poor’s. I would like to thank the leadership team and dedicated staff for the role they have played in maintaining this status. A stable credit rating like this allows us to show the rest of the world why Niagara is a great place to live, work and play."
~ Todd Harrison, Commissioner and Treasurer
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