Grant Thornton Starts Program and Service Review

Thunder Bay City Hall
Thunder Bay City Hall

THUNDER BAY – In March 2019, Thunder Bay City Council approved a review to improve understanding of the programs and services currently provided by the City and provide information that will allow the Council and Administration to make more informed strategic choices regarding those programs and services.

Thunder Bay has hired Grant Thornton LLP to provide the independent review. The review will be done in two phases. Phase one, to be completed by mid-November 2019, will seek to better understand how value is being delivered to citizens through City programs and services.

The objective is to help City Council achieve its goals and determine how the Corporation can improve the services that matter most to Thunder Bay residents, both now and into the future. It will result in recommendations about the ability of services to meet current and future user needs and to support the optimal use of resources and infrastructure to provide services effectively and efficiently.

Grant Thornton will consider, at a minimum:

  • The input of City employees;
  • The input of elected officials of the City;
  • The input of stakeholder organizations, like the unions representing City employees;
  • The input of the public at large;
  • Historical documentation (previous studies, reviews, etc.) provided by the City;
  • Financial records of the programs and services;
  • The models and learning of other communities across Canada, which share certain qualities or practices with the City of Thunder Bay

Phase two will assess any possible alternatives to the current models for delivery, including a review of the organizational structure, and create opportunities for stakeholder and public input on those recommendations. Grant Thornton will provide citizens, elected officials, and City staff with a framework detailing potential options, costs and benefits, and feasibility of delivery options for the future. This phase of work will be completed by June 2020.

“As an administration, we focus on continuous improvement through internal reviews, the annual budget process and in the way we manage our daily operations,” says Norm Gale, City Manager. “This program and service review will give us the advantage of an independent third-party review and data to support effective change and assure Council and the citizens of Thunder Bay that we are delivering the right services at the best price.”

This review will not directly impact Thunder Bay Fire Rescue or Superior North Emergency Medical Services. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is currently undergoing a separate review through the development of a Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Master Fire Plan, and Superior North Emergency Medical Service’s strategic plan review is pending.

The Grant Thornton team is pleased to undertake this review,” said Clemens Rettich, Project Manager, Grant Thornton LLP. “Our commitment is to make sure the citizens of Thunder Bay are receiving the best value in services for their tax dollars, and to support elected officials and staff by identifying opportunities for maintaining strong service levels, while controlling or even reducing costs.”

For more information, including how to get involved in the review, visit:

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