It seems hard to believe that the holiday season is before us again. I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2015 has been a year that we won’t soon forget.

As we finish a highly successful and collaborative first year, I look forward to working with my Council colleagues preparing for the important milestones and projects planned for the years to come. Although there is still much work to be done, we have made significant progress over the past year:

  • Kept taxes affordable
  • Council has made record investments in affordable housing.
  • A new Ottawa Art Gallery and revitalized Arts Court will open its doors in 2017.
  • Secured full funding for Cleaning up the Ottawa River with the Ottawa River Action Plan.
  • Kept Confederation Line construction moving forward quickly with progress now visible on the surface
  • Approved Stage 2 Plan to extend LRT further east, west and south.

Holidays are an excellent time to reflect, but they are also an opportunity to plan for the years to come.

To that end, preparations for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 are well underway and we have made significant progress.

I recently had the pleasure to announce that The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has selected Ottawa as the host city for the 2017 JUNO Awards. We have also secured major events like the Canadian Video Game Awards, Canadian Track and Field Championships, The Canadian Olympic Curling Trials – Roar of the Rings and many more to be announced.

The energy, excitement and investments generated by Ottawa’s 2017 celebrations will serve as a catalyst for long-term tourism growth. As the spotlight descends upon the capital, we are working hard to position Ottawa as THE place for all Canadians to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.

Check out our website to find out how you can contribute your ideas for this important milestone.

I hope you can take some time over the holidays to come and enjoy the SENS RINK of Dreams at City Hall, or our refrigerated outdoor rink at Lansdowne Park.

Most of all, enjoy some quality time with your friends and family at this wonderful time of year.

Happy holidays.