2013 – “A Year of Action”

Ottawa – In this morning’s State of the City address, Mayor Jim Watson laid out priorities for the upcoming year, including several new arts, rural and environmental initiatives.

“2012 was a year of decision-making and 2013 will be a year of action,” said Mayor Watson. “Building on our successes, our focus this year will be moving forward on key projects like Lansdowne Park and Light Rail Transit.”

City finances

This year, residents will see the lowest tax change in seven years. At 2.09%, it is also one of the lowest among major Canadian cities. Recreation fees will remain frozen for the third year in a row, and the City will continue important investments in community services and infrastructure. Ottawa on the Move, the City’s $340-million infrastructure program, will continue this year, revitalizing road, sidewalks and sewers in all areas of the city.

Arts and culture

At the invitation of the Ottawa Art Gallery and the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, Mayor Watson has agreed to lend his name to the first-ever Mayor’s Gala for the Arts this November to support the future redevelopment of Arts Court.

This fall, the Mayor will host a one day and night Arts Fair at City Hall to invite local artists to promote upcoming theatre and concert seasons, as well as other arts initiatives.

The Karsh Masson Gallery will be moved to its permanent home at City Hall, a building that is becoming more of a people place with the introduction of the Rink of Dreams, the Barbara Ann Scott Gallery and the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

Environment

The City of Ottawa’s top infrastructure priority remains the Ottawa River Action Plan. When the next round of infrastructure funding becomes available, the Mayor and Council will work to secure federal and provincial funding to clean up the Ottawa River.

There will also be a renewed focus on increasing recycling options on city streets through a new strategy.

Rural Affairs

A first-ever Rural Expo will be held in 2013. It will be a showcase for Ottawa’s rural residents to promote fairs, museums, agriculture and crafts to the urban population. The Expo will be held in at City Hall within the next year and act as a way for our rural community to boast and show off their talents and products to a larger urban audience.

Read the Mayor’s entire State of the City speech.