Column: December 21, 2017

Budget 2018

On December 13, City Council approved the budget for 2018. It caps the residential property tax increase at 2%, increases transit fares by 2.5%, increases most recreation fees by 2% and increases the annual garbage fee by $2. For a rural home with an assessed value of $404,000 the increase is about $62.

Council received an update from City Treasurer Marian Simulik, with the latest tax revenue information for the year. The City expects it will end 2017 with a surplus, due in part to $10 million in greater than expected assessment growth. Council voted to use the $10 million to renew additional infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and buildings. Council will approve the allocation of this spending in early 2018.

In total, the City will have an operating budget of $3.4 billion in 2018 and a capital budget of $739 million. Some of budget highlights that will be of interest to Ward 5 residents are:

  • $2.3 million more for winter operations, totalling $68.3 million
  • $600,000 to repair potholes, bringing the total for asphalt repairs to $8 million
  • $5.6 million more to resurface roads, a 17% increase, totalling $39.2 million
  • 14 new paramedics and one additional emergency response vehicle, adding to the 36 paramedics hired in this term of Council
  • $12 million to renew the City’s rural infrastructure, including more than $8 million to rehabilitate bridges and bridge culverts
  • $520,000 for Peter Robinson Road Bridge (located in Carp)
  • $3.1 million to reconstruct and upgrade roads in the rural area, including renewing guiderails

Ottawa City Council also approved the 2018 Ottawa Police Service Operating and Capital Budgets. This budget adds 25 new officers to their complement in 2018 and completes a three-year 75 officer hiring plan. That is on top of hiring to replace retirements and other departures. Those new officers will be directed to Frontline, Traffic Unit, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Section. The budget also includes a hiring forecast of 30 new officers every year between 2019 to 2021.

Merry Christmas!

My wife Maha and I would like to wish you a happy Christmas season. As you celebrate the season please remember – do not drink and drive.

A special thanks in advance to our emergency services personnel – volunteer firefighters, paramedics and police. This is an especially busy time of year for them and many of them work through the holidays, away from their own families, to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Column: December 14, 2017

MVCA extends financial relief deadline for flood victims

At the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) Board of Directors meeting on December 6, the Board voted in favour of extending its decision to provide financial relief to 2017 flood victims. Initially this was to end on December 31, 2017, but due to a large number of applications received, there was concern not everyone affected has had the opportunity to submit. The deadline has been extended to August 31, 2018.

In May 2017, the MVCA Board approved to reduce fees by 50% to permits received in relation to reconstruction/repair of residences and charge $25 for alteration of shorelines that have been impacted by the flood of 2017 along the Ottawa River. The reduction applies to current landowner applications only. For landowners looking for more information, contact MVCA head office at 613-253-0006.

A Ward 5 “Snow Angel” recognized for his efforts

On December 6 at Ottawa City Hall, a handful of residents from across the City were honoured at the annual Snow Angel Recognition Ceremony. The Snow Angel Program recognizes residents who volunteer their time to assist older adults and people with disabilities with snow removal.

At this year’s ceremony, Ward 5 resident Kevin Rees was recognized for helping a couple of his neighbours with their snow clearing needs. I have heard from many folks in his community that Kevin has always been one to step up and help his friends and neighbours. His small act of kindness has had a big impact on those that needed his help. Thanks to Kevin for stepping up and helping his neighbours.

Budget 2018

As of the writing of this column, the City’s Budget for 2018 has not yet been approved and will only be finalized at the City Council meeting held on Wednesday, December 13. For those interested in reviewing the final budget to confirm how it will impact you in the coming year, I recommend visiting after December 13, where detailed information on Budget 2018 will be posted.

My West Carleton-March Food Drive ending soon

Next week is the last week of my Christmas food drive for the West Carleton Food Access Centre. Please consider dropping off non-perishable food by December 22 to my ward office (5670 Carp Road) Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Thank you for all the generous donations thus far!

Column: November 16, 2017

Draft Budget 2018 has been tabled

The City’s Draft Operating and Capital Budget for 2018 was presented at the City Council meeting on November 8. It will be considered at all committees over the next few weeks, then return to Council on December 13 for final approval. There are still opportunities for the public to offer comments and input before its final approval:

1)    Register as a public delegation at a standing committee, board or commission budget review meetings that take place from November 21 to December 7, as listed below:

November 21 - Environment and Climate Protection Committee
November 23 – Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
November 27 – Ottawa Police Service Board
November 28 - Planning Committee
November 29 – IT Sub-Committee
November 30 – Audit Committee
December 4 – Transit Commission
December 5 – Finance and Economic Development Committee
December 6 – Transportation Committee
December 7 – Community and Protective Services Committee

2)    Contact me directly at
3)    Send an email to  
4)    Tweet @ottawacity using hashtag #ottbudget
5)    Call 3-1-1

West Carleton-March highlights in Budget 2018

A breakdown of budget items that directly impact West Carleton-March has been prepared for easy reference. The PDF document can be reviewed on my website ( It is located under the “Latest News” section of the home page.

Congratulations to Todd Nicholson

I am happy to announce that Ward 5 resident Todd Nicholson has been inducted into the Order of Ottawa and will be honoured at a ceremony at City Hall on November 16.

A three-time Paralympic medalist winning gold in 2006, silver in 1998 and bronze in 1994, Todd Nicholson represented Canada as a member of Canada’s National Sledge Hockey Team. He won eight medals at the world sledge hockey championships. From 2013 until April 2017, he served as Chairman for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council and has been involved in planning and administering the Games from 2012 through 2018. He was named Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. He was inducted to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Mr. Nicholson and his wife now devote their free time to building The Abilities Centre Ottawa, a centre that aims to create an inclusive recreational facility for people of all abilities.

Column: October 12, 2017

Trunk or Treat

West Carleton Trunk or Treat is happening again this year on Saturday, October 28 from 2-4pm at the Kinburn Community Centre, 3045 Kinburn Side Road. Trunk or Treat is where all cars park in a circle, the trunks are popped open and kids trick or treat from car to car. There will be prizes for best decorated car, best family theme and best costumes. There will also be games, colouring, fire trucks, a photo booth, tattoos and much more! Tickets are $5 per child. Proceeds will go directly to the Constance Bay Flood Relief Fund. For more details and to register, visit the event Facebook Page at

5th Annual All That Glam Fundraiser for Nunavut

The 5th Annual All That Glam Jewelry Fundraiser for Nunavut is taking place on Saturday, November 25 at the Richcraft Recreation Centre in Kanata. There will be tens of thousands of pieces of gently-used jewelry and brand-name handbags up for sale. There will be a silent auction featuring some beautiful designer bags or unique pieces of jewelry.

Leading up to this sale event on November 25, my ward office (5670 Carp Rd.) will be collecting gently used handbags and costume jewelry. If you have items you can part with, then please drop them off Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm. We will be collecting items until November 10.

All That Glam raises money for school breakfast programs in Nunavut, and since inception they have donated over $100,000 to Nunavut’s much-needed breakfast programs. For further details visit

2018 Pre-Budget Consultation continues

Residents can still provide comments to the City of Ottawa as part of the 2018 Pre-Budget Consultation process currently underway. Your feedback helps inform the City’s budget priorities, and contributes to key decision about investments in services that you want and need. There are a number of ways to share your ideas and suggestions for the 2018 Budget:

  • Email
  • Participate in
  • Tweet @ottawacity using the hash tag #ottbudget
  • Call 3-1-1
  • Attend pre-budget public consultations hosted by City Councillors (see for remaining dates, times and locations)
  • Attend and/or register as a public delegation atStanding Committee, Board or Commission meetings where the budget will be reviewed and discussed. (A listing of these meetings is noted on