Despite virus restrictions and closed borders, Niagara Region maintains its “AA” credit rating

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Published November 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm

The company that rates every region and municipality in Ontario on its financial well-being has once again reaffirmed Niagara Region’s “AA” credit rating.

This is excellent news for Niagara as it faced numerous credit-lowering issues over the past 19 months with its economy being hit hard by COVID-19 travel restrictions and the subsequent closure of the Canada-U.S. border to non-commercial traffic.

The agency, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings, did warn, however, that Niagara’s long-term capital plans will test its budget in the shorter run but looking at the numbers, they felt, “it is to remain manageable.”

The importance of healthy credit to regions and municipalities is it allows them to borrow against their good standing, should the need arise.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley credited both Council’s budget handling as well as the hard work of regional staff.

“The report from credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s is a positive reflection on the management of the Region’s financial resources,” said Bradley. “I am pleased to see that we’ve kept the AA rating which highlights both our successful budgetary process and the diligent work and dedication of our staff.”

Regional Treasurer Todd Harrison credited both those above him – the councillors – and those around him – his colleagues.

“I am proud of the hard work staff have undertaken reflected in the stable AA credit rating from S&P. Our strong financial management practices and commitment to disclosure and transparency in financial reporting are clearly displayed in this 2021 rating,” Harrison said.

“Thank you to the leadership team and our amazing staff for the role they have played in maintaining this status.”

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