Column: November 17, 2016

Tabling of the City of Ottawa’s Draft Budget for 2017

On November 9, the draft budget for 2017 was tabled at City Council. It focuses on strengthening core municipal services with a continued commitment to long-term affordability, while capping the residential property tax at 2 per cent. Some highlights include:

  • $4.5 million increase to the base budget for winter maintenance;
  • $23 million for upgrades to rural roads allowing the City to repair or resurface over 110km of rural roads in 2017. This will include just over $2 million in matching funding by the Federal Government to provide facilities for safer cycling routes for rural residents;
  • An additional $1 million top-up over the next two years to rural road upgrades allowing repair work on more roads in the four rural wards;
  •  $3 million dollars to the Bayshore to Kanata LRT Environmental Assessment – a critical milestone in the future expansion of LRT farther west;
  • Ottawa Police Services adding 75 new police officers over three years, including 25 officers in 2017
  • An investment in paramedic services of 43 new front-line service providers between 2016 and 2018, with 24 new paramedics in 2017
  • Funding to plant 125,000 trees in order to increase the forest cover in rural, suburban and urban areas. These trees will assist in replenishing areas ravaged by the Emerald Ash Borer; and
  • Funding for the 150 Maple Grove Project, which will plant a grove of 150 Canadian maple trees in every ward as a living legacy of our 2017 celebrations;

There are still opportunities for the public to offer input before the final budget goes to Council for consideration on December 14. Residents can:

  • Register to speak at a committee, board or commission budget review meeting from November 10 to December 8. Meetings are noted at ottawa.ca/budget2017;
  • Provide comments to me at eli.el-chantiry@ottawa.ca;
  • Email input to budget@ottawa.ca;
  • Tweet @ottawacity using the hashtag #ottbudget; and
  • Call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

 For further information on the budget and to review the draft document visit ottawa.ca/budget2017.

My Ward 5 food drive ongoing

Reminder! My non-perishable food drive for the West Carleton Food Access Centre is ongoing until November 30. Items can be dropped off at my ward office.