I believe in a community where everyone matters. The draft city budget for 2017 proposes to strengthen our social infrastructure immediately and for years to come, while at the same time building and renewing the assets that we rely on daily. The City is maintaining its commitment to transit development through the LRT project and bus service expansion increasing Bay Ward residents’ connectivity. Budget 2017 also ensures young families can continue to stay active by using our arts and parks programs and facilities.
I believe Ottawa is a community where we care for one another:
- A new low-income transit pass, EquiPass, will enable many Ottawa residents a more affordable transit option. The new pass will save those residents 50% off of the current adult monthly fare.
- Many people in our community rely on the 94 agencies across the city to support our neighbours in need. I am proud to support them in doing their vital work throughout all of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. The additional $610,000.00 in funding will go a long way in helping them continue to serve Ottawa
- In my role as Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness, I am championing our continued support of the City’s annual $16 million commitment ending homelessness within the next 10 years. Ottawa will also receive funding from our federal and provincial partners, which includes:
- $2.8 million from the homelessness Partnering Strategy; $16 million for Social Housing Repairs; $19 million for the Investment in Affordable Housing Program; $12 million through the Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program; $3 million for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative and almost $4 million for a Survivors of Domestic Violence Pilot.
- New affordable homes being built in 2017 include Ottawa Community Housing’s Michele Heights in Bay Ward, an investment of $800,000.00
- Affordable housing is important, but so is housing affordability. Limiting the 2017 tax increase to 2% is a responsible and balanced approach.
- We are focusing on keeping people in their homes with a tax increase of 2%.
Improving transportation and connectivity has long been one of my key priorities:
- I look forward to 17 new buses rolling out for transit customers, improving reliability in growing areas, particularly during peak hours.
- If you or somebody you know cycles, you will appreciate the $73 million for cycling over 4 years. The funding will take pressure off the road networks by alleviating vehicle pressure on the road and increasing cycling, driving, and pedestrian safety.
- Getting to work/home and traveling throughout our city is important to all our residents throughout the year. An increase of $4.5M for snow removal this winter will help make roads easier to navigate.
- I am continuing to focus on key transit initiatives for Bay Ward, including:
- $12 million investment for the design and preparatory work for the West Transitway Extension.
- $1.5 million in city funding and an additional $1.5 million from our federal partners, has been committed to look at delivering LRT from Bayshore to Kanata earlier than planned.
- $291,000.00 road resurfacing on Richmond Road, from Pinecrest Road to Carling Avenue.
Safety and security are key issues raised by Ottawa residents:
- In responding to concerns we will make our communities stronger and more secure by adding 75 police officers and 43 new paramedics.
- I will continue to effectively use the $40,000 for Temporary Traffic Calming Measures to increase safety in Bay Ward.
Arts and Parks programs and facilities help foster community involvement and activity:
- When you include Ottawa 2017 funding, the City will be investing a record $11.2M in our arts, heritage, and festivals programs this year. These new investments, including the creation of a new Arts momentum fund, will increase social vitality and provide local economic benefits extending to the Bay Ward.
- Increase of $250K in additional funds for the parks and recreation renewal fund.
- The city is investing $21M for sorely needed rehabilitation of parks and recreation facilities. In our Ward this includes:
- Foster Farm Community Centre, Belltown Dome, Britannia Park Trolley Shelter, Frank Ryan Fieldhouse, Maki Park Playground, McEwen Park Playground, and Carlingwood Library.
Also, we will continue to protect our climate and environment:
- Our city trees have suffered immensely from the Emerald Ash Borer. Through increased efforts on reforestation, we will be protecting and expanding our tree population. In 2017 there are an estimated 125,000.00 new trees planned to take root.
NEXT STEPS & OPPORTUNITIES FOR FURTHER PUBLIC INPUT
Thank you to all those who attended budget consultations and provided your input. There is still time to provide your comments and suggestions. Residents are encouraged to submit their input before the final Budget goes to Council for consideration on December 14. Your feedback is an important piece of the draft budget process and helps other Councillors and myself, guide where we invest public funds. You may submit comments through the following options:
- Visit ottawa.ca/en/city-budget-have-your-say
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3-1-1
- Tweet @ottawacity using hashtag #Ottbudget
- Contact my office
Members of the public can also register as a public delegation at a standing committee, board, or commission budget review meeting and make a five-minute presentation. You can find a breakdown of upcoming meetings on Ottawa.ca/budget. Presenters are encouraged to provide a copy of their presentation electronically in advance of the meeting.
You may always contact me at Mark.Taylor@ottawa.ca or by calling our office at 613-699-8163. I look forward to hearing from you.