Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has upgraded Niagara Region’s credit rating to an “AA+” standing, affirming the municipality’s continued commitment to deliver high-quality service while also focusing on affordability. S&P, a financial services company, offers credit ratings, data analysis, and equity research to private and public sectors across the globe.
For the past several years, S&P has reaffirmed the Region’s credit rating as “AA” with a stable outlook. The improved “AA+” rating is the second-highest rating on Standard & Poor’s credit rating scale.
In its report released earlier this month, S&P stated the Region’s improved standing reflects its ability to maintain financial resiliency over time, including during a significant stress scenario like the COVID-19 pandemic. In its assessment, S&P noted Niagara Region and other municipalities did well to manage service levels and expenditures, which helped mitigate the financial stress of the pandemic.
Other strategies included funding pandemic costs from reserves rather than increasing tax rates for expenses not covered by senior levels of government during the crisis.
Niagara Region is among 21 Canadian municipalities to benefit from the improved rating. The credit rating allows Niagara Region to obtain favourable interest rates when applying for debenture issuances used to pay for critical municipal infrastructure.
"Niagara Region continues to demonstrate resilient budgetary performance even when faced with extreme challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. This improved rating from S&P shows there is broad confidence in the Region’s fiscal policies and its ability to meet financial obligations. I would like to acknowledge the support from senior levels of government during this period, as well as Regional Council’s commitment to deliver on what matters most to our residents, businesses and community partners."
~ Jim Bradley, Regional Chair
"I want to acknowledge the important work done by both members of Regional Council and Regional staff to get us to this milestone. This accomplishment is reflective of the commitment made by our Council to implement strategic policies that make the best use of tax dollars and deliver positive results for our residents and communities."
~ Todd Harrison, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Treasurer