MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Martin Horak

Geographical Areas

Town of Minto, Town of Petrolia, The City of London


The purpose of this paper is to investigate emerging best practices in the municipal sector arising from the implementation of Ontario Regulation 588/17 – Asset Management Planning for Municipal Infrastructure and to assess the extent to which these best practices have been adopted by Ontario municipalities. The sample pool consists of three municipalities, falling into two tier levels of municipal government. Tiers are defined by characteristics such as population and density, which often correlates to a municipalities asset inventory. The lower tier municipalities in the sample are the Town of Minto and the Town of Petrolia. The single tier sample is the City of London. The samples were arrived at following an analysis of outliers, trendsetters, and poor performers. Using the methodology of a cross-sectional review of the sample cases’ financial planning and investment allocation, this study ultimately assesses these municipalities’ application of Assets Management best practices in dealing with their infrastructure deficits. This study finds that if a given municipality has a strong long-term financial plan and/or program then that municipality is also considered to have a successful Asset Management Plan (AMP). Additionally, if a municipal organization has calibrated and accurate asset conditional assessments, their AMP and financial outcome will be more effective. Qualitatively, if a municipal organization has clear and defined levels of services, their asset programs are more effective in servicing the assets’ needs towards asset performance. And finally, if a municipality has a financial (long range) plan consisting of rational AMP benchmarks, the organization will be in a better financial position overall. These strategic asset management programs and financial plans are therefore essential in tackling Canada’s 1.1 trillion-dollar infrastructure deficit. From this research, future quantitative examination is required to determine if the strategic financial planning principles deployed by the municipalities actually improve asset management programs and performance, with the goal of determining whether the Asset Management best practices emerging in Ontario municipalities are warranted for adoption across Canada.