The Policy Shop

The Policy Shop

Helping Treasurers make rules and ‘find money’ through policy and revenue strategies

Emily Harris, BA, MA, Director


The Policy Shop is a municipal finance unconsultancy led by former municipal policy and finance staff.

We work with staff to build two things that move municipalities past local administrations to local governments: Policy capacity and revenue capacity.

Policy Services:
-Policy Assessment
-Policy Update
-Policy Development

Revenue Services:
-Revenue Strategy for the Annual Budget
-Alternative Revenue Study:
-Strategic Funding Plan:



9am-5pm weekdays or by appointment

Success Story:

Around the world, government power is decentralizing. We're not far behind in Canada.
Municipal impact is about more than spending. By focusing on policy and revenue, we highlight ways to impact a community that don’t depend on how much cash is in the bank, but on a Council’s willingness to plan and lead change.

What’s written matters; the rules of the game shape how people think and what we think is possible. Since provinces create municipalities through rules and requirements, every municipality starts with an externally-determined operating logic, or operating system, like a computer. Policy is how municipalities form their own operating systems based on what makes sense for them, and in so doing, make themselves ‘Masters in their Own House.' Effective policy frameworks signal a commitment to driving impact through principles and systems, and they imply an executive appetite for self-governance aligned with the purpose of municipal organizations.

In an operating environment that pulls for staff to be busy and Councils to be reactive, staying in the driver’s seat on revenue is a way to ensure local priorities stay ‘must-have’s;’ own source revenue empowers Council to build community on its own terms, and a balanced portfolio helps it retain agenda-setting power, in spite of external policy shifts, by insulating tax and fee levels from shouldering new costs that often displace discretionary projects.