MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Kane Faucher

Geographical Areas

Burlington, Chatham-Kent, Dufferin, Hamilton, Huron, Simcoe, Thunder Bay, Whitchurch-Stouffville, York Region, Ontario


This research looks at nine municipalities in Ontario that either have or have not adopted a strategic plan of 10+ years and a long-term financial plan of 5+ years, and assesses their financial change based on a set of financial criteria at two different points in time, 2000 and 2019. Using statistical analysis and longitudinal comparison, the research aims to test the hypothesis that strategic planning with a 10+ years’ time horizon provides a framework for longer-term financial decision-making, including strategies and key actions to facilitate multi-year, integrated, strategic decision-making, and provides more financially sound municipal entities than those municipalities without such long-term strategic planning frameworks. The study concludes that the group with a strategic plan of 10+ years and long-term financial plan of 5+ years has, on average, more fiscal indicators with positive changes than the group without such a strategic plan and long-term financial plan (7 as compared to 4). Furthermore, there was an association between the size of the municipality and the degree to which long-term strategic planning is integrated into an overall strategic, capital, business, and budget planning framework.