SPEAKING NOTES

Mayor Jim Watson

Budget 2020 Tabling

A budget that works for Ottawa/you

An affordable approach for responsible growth, safety and housing

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

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Good morning everyone.

Bonjour tout le monde.

Today we table the draft 2020 Budget for public input.

At the same time, we are also considering the new Term of Council Priorities.

These are two of the most important discussions we as a City have each Term of Council.

C’est la discussion la plus importante que nous avons à chaque année.

Over the last few weeks, I had the pleasure of attending various ward consultations and I have heard from residents regarding their vision for their city and their budget priorities.

Residents are realistic about the City’s fiscal capacity – they know we must set a limit to the number of priorities we can achieve – and they want us to live within our means and keep our city affordable.

In other words, if we have 100 priorities – we really have no priorities.

We live in a City with a booming economy, with unprecedented levels of low unemployment, an abundance of opportunity with strong investment and smart growth.

As a local government, it is incumbent on us to help to strive to include everyone in that prosperity.

Nous devons nous assurer que tous nos résidents profite de cette richesse dans notre communauté.

I am pleased to report that we are bringing forward a budget for 2020 that delivers on key commitments, including:

  • reducing our infrastructure gap by boosting our spending on roads, sidewalks and critical infrastructure;
  • providing more affordable housing;

investing in transit and LRT to serve our growing population;

  • improving the core services people count on– like our world-class drinking water and our expanding transit system;
  • maintaining our cycling and pathway infrastructure to improve active mobility and safety;
  • building a strong and sustainable economy that supports our local job market and celebrates our regional economic diversity;
  • making our communities safer and more resilient; and,
  • keeping our tax rate affordable for all, especially for low income residents.

In 2020, we are putting forward a budget that addresses city-wide priorities with a tax rate of 3 per cent, with an additional 1.5 per cent for growth – for a total operating budget of $3.76 billion, when combined with fares and revenues, this represents a $136.8 million increase over 2019.

Budget 2020 also includes over $813 million for capital projects, which when added to the capital spend on Stage 2 LRT, equals $1.6 billion.

Au cours de la prochaine année, nous aurons plusieurs discussions importantes sur l’avenir de notre ville.

The tabling of the 2020 Budget, and the Term of Council Priorities today, is just the beginning of a much broader discussion we will be having on our Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Infrastructure Master Plan and the Development Charge By-Law.

These plans will be strengthened by hearing from residents about their vision and priorities for the future.

The choices we make today – and through these upcoming discussions – will set the path to what we want our city to look like in 10, 20 and even 50 years from now.

As we review the details of the budget document – with revenue tables and pie charts – we must remember what these discussions are about: they are always about our residents.

People like:

  • Small business owner Mike from Euphoria Salon on Richmond Road, who recently renovated his patio to host three new pop-up food entrepreneurs;
  • The over 9,500 people who have given of their time through Volunteer Ottawa
  • The 6,256 new immigrants who have settled in Ottawa every year;
  • The more than 35 per cent of new jobs in Ottawa that are generated by small businesses – which include over 49,000 jobs that have been created in Ottawa alone so far this year;
  • The 33,323 construction workers building our City in over 789 ongoing construction projects currently underway;
  • The 100,950 full-time college and university students who call Ottawa;
  • The families that are putting down roots with a booming number of housing starts in 2019; and
  • The over 5 million riders on our LRT in just seven weeks.

These discussions must also be about the kind of communities we want to live in.

Nous devons penser à quel genre de communauté nous voulons pour nos résidents.

Residents have told us that they want:

  • affordable communities;
  • a sustainable economy and environment that works for everyone;
  • well-maintained roads and transit that connects to employment;
  • infrastructure that is in a state of good repair;
  • services to support those most in need.

These are the priorities that we have heard through our consultation efforts, and these are the priorities that are informing our choices and our budget decisions.

Although our City is firing on all cylinders – it is important to remember that not everyone can access that prosperity equally.

In fact, in many areas of the City the booming economy is contributing to a housing crunch with a vacancy rate of under 1.6 per cent.

Housing affordability affects us all – and as the vacancy rate drops, prices rise.

Seniors, the working poor, newcomers and others on fixed incomes all face struggles with their finances.

Increasing prices and higher taxes also increase the risk of homelessness.

Ottawa is experiencing a high demand for emergency housing and our local shelters are struggling.

As of September 2, 2019, the City had 330 families in motels and 441 families in the family shelter system.

Although the need is great – we are all quite aware that the situation could be much worse, and I was pleased to hear that the proposed cuts by the provincial government to the Transitional Child Benefit were postponed – and hopefully cancelled.

I would like to thank Councillor Sudds for her collaboration on lobbying efforts that have resulted in this change in provincial position. I would also like to thank Ministers Lisa MacLeod and Merrilee Fullerton for their support.

Our Council is committed to helping our most vulnerable residents.

Nous devons en faire plus pour aider nos résidents dans le besoin, et ceux qui sont vulnérables.

That is why I am pleased to say that budget 2020 is the second year in a row that we will invest another $15 million to build new affordable housing in Ottawa.

I am pleased to say with last year’s investment – much has been accomplished with 266 new affordable units approved for development so far this term.

Grâce à nos investissements de l’an dernier, nous avons déjà approuvé la construction de 266 (deux-cent-soixante-six) unités de logement abordable dans ce mandat du Conseil.

We recently went to the market with a Request For Proposal for new affordable housing projects across Ottawa.

I am pleased to announce today that we will be funding more affordable housing projects with:

  • Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation’s proposal for a 31-unit apartment building at 159 Forward Avenue;
  • The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, in partnership with the Christ Church Bells Corners Parish and Cornerstone Housing for Women, for a 35-unit building with a ground floor community services hub containing a food bank and community resource centre;
  • And another 160 units with Ottawa Community Housing for mixed demographic communities suitable for families and seniors.

Additionally, just last month we approved an agreement with Trinity Developments whereby they would contribute $7.5 million to the City’s affordable housing reserves to build new affordable housing.

The 2020 investment into the affordable housing reserve will keep this momentum going towards the development of additional affordable housing units in Ottawa.

Based on past practice, we can anticipate that this year’s City contribution to housing of $15 million will again leverage at least the equivalent amount of new federal and provincial dollars.

These efforts will lead to a significant increase in the number of affordable units built in Ottawa in 2020 and beyond.

Obviously, the City of Ottawa cannot go it alone in the fight against homelessness.

Over the course of the coming months, we will be pushing the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada and our local housing partners to agree on even more ambitious targets and goals.

Nous devons travailler avec les autres niveaux de gouvernements et nos partenaires pour faire du progrès en matière de logement.

For example, the City is actively working with CMHC to support much needed renovations and repairs to the YM/YWCA at 80 Argyle Street.

The YMCA’s renovations will include the costs related to the conversion of three additional floors for family transitional housing.

Our $15 million-dollar investment in 2019, and again in 2020, are the largest direct municipal contributions to housing capital in the City’s history.

Ces investissements historiques dans le logement abordable sont les plus importants dans l’histoire de la ville.

We will also be funding over $31 million going to housing and homelessness agencies in 2020 for case management, housing loss prevention and operating funding for supportive housing.

I look forward to working closely with our Council Liaison on Housing and Homelessness, Catherine McKenney, Mathieu Fleury, Chair of OCH, Jenna Sudds, Chair of CPSC, Jan Harder, Chair of Planning, and all members of Council on providing more housing for the most vulnerable members of our community.

Important progress has also been made in the child care and early years sectors in recent years, including new provincial and federal investments of $50 million that have:

  • significantly reduced the waitlist;
  • provided fee subsidies for approximately 2,000 more children;
  • provided additional funding to child care service providers for increased access and affordability for families across the city; and
  • will create over 400 new spaces in Ottawa.

This is in addition to previous investments and growth in the sector that has seen close to 9,000 new spaces created between 2013 and 2018 – or growth of 42 per cent.

Council also recently approved the new Child Care and Early Year Service System Plan for 2019-2023.

With a cost of living increase in the Draft 2020 Budget, the Community Funding Program will benefit from a total investment of $24.5 million for community non-profit social service providers who deliver valuable services to residents facing the greatest needs across the city – an increase of $475,000.

Last month, you may have heard the discussion at CPSC that the City is completing a review of the Community Funding Program, in consultation with our community partners.

The goal of this review is to ensure agencies are better positioned to respond to the growing and emerging needs of residents.

Until such time as the review is fully implemented, I am pleased to say that the 2020 Budget includes $100,000 for project funding. In 2019, this funding went to eight agencies to address critical community needs.

In 2020, there is also an additional $500,000 in one-time funding to help transition agencies into the new community funding framework.

Cette revue du financement communautaire mènera à des recommandations plus tard en 2020, et j’ai hâte d’en voir les résultats.

At the start of this Term of Council, we appointed our City’s first Women and Gender Equity Liaison with Councillor Kavanagh as its champion.

Thank you, Councillor Kavanagh, for your leadership and your ongoing work in this new role.

In December 2018, Ottawa City Council endorsed the creation of a Women and Gender Equity Strategy.

This past September, close to 200 participants attended a Women and Gender Equity Public Forum to provide input into the Strategy.

I found it very encouraging to see this level of interest and engagement on women and gender equity.

Public consultations have now wrapped up and a draft Strategy will be presented to Council in 2020.

The Draft 2020 budget includes an investment for a staff position to advance and steward the Gender Equity Strategy.

En tant que gouvernement municipal, nous essayons constamment d’être plus ouvert et inclusif à tous nos résidents.

This Council is committed to ensuring all our residents feel welcome and safe.

The recent work of Councillor Rawlson King illustrates the need to address systemic racism in our community.

To further advance the work underway on equity and inclusion – and to align ourselves with our federal and provincial partners on fighting racism – I would like to announce the creation of an Anti-Racism Secretariat for the City of Ottawa.

I want to thank Councillor King for his proposal leading to today’s announcement.

He worked tirelessly on this idea – in consultation with councillors and my office – and his hard work will see this initiative move forward next year.

This secretariat will target systemic racism by building an anti-racism approach into the way our City government develops policies, makes decisions, evaluates programs and monitors outcomes.

It will also seek to build on existing community partnerships to ensure we are all working together.

Like our Women and Gender Equity Strategy, it will include funding for one new FTE and a one-time operating budget of $100,000.

This year was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and next year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops.

These anniversaries are an opportunity to remember the sacrifices so many have made and are making for our country.

This week is also Veterans Week (November 5-11).

Later this week, we will be hosting a ceremony to officially re-name the Ottawa Airport Parkway Bridge as the Juno Beach Bridge. Thanks to Councillors Brockington and Gower for their work on this important renaming.

One of our Members of Council is a veteran and a former staff member with the Minister of National Defence.

To show our continued appreciation and raise awareness about the challenges faced by our veterans, I am proud to announce that Councillor Matthew Luloff has agreed to take on the role of Council Liaison for Veteran and Military Affairs.

Councillor Luloff is also an advocate for better mental health services, with a strong understanding of both the supports available and challenges faced by our veterans.

Le conseiller Luloff en fait déjà beaucoup pour représenter les intérêts des ancien combattants à l’hôtel de ville.

Thank you for your service and ongoing commitment, Councillor Luloff, and for your willingness to take on this challenge, which will be funded from within existing budgets.

We recently had some good news about affordable veteran’s housing – as a community-led project by Multi-faith Housing Initiative was approved by CMHC and will ultimately see 40 new affordable and supportive housing units for veterans built in Wateridge Village, the former Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe.

Je veux aussi remercier le gouvernement fédéral de son appui à notre politique de bilinguisme et sa contribution récente à nos Services en français, un investissement de 224 000 dollars sur trois ans.

Le gouvernement provincial a aussi accepté récemment de financer notre demande de 20 000 dollars, qui viendra appuyer les activités d’engagement communautaire de Vision Vanier – Culture en action

Je veux aussi remercier le conseiller Jean Cloutier pour sa représentation de la Ville d’Ottawa et son travail auprès de l’Association des municipalités francophones de l’Ontario.

Je suis aussi heureux que le nombre de plaintes sur les Services en français soit passé de 119 en 2014 à 34 en 2018, soit une réduction de 71 pourcent.

Après plusieurs années de travail, la Maison de la Francophonie ouvrira finalement ses portes en début de 2020, grâce un partenariat entre le Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario et la Ville d’Ottawa.

J’ai bien hâte à son ouverture pour qu’on puisse commencer à offrir des services importants à la communauté francophone grandissante dans l’ouest de la ville.

Nous faisons d’autres investissements importants pour garder notre communauté en sécurité.

The availability of paramedics in the community is a core service expectation for Ottawa residents.

The City needs more paramedics to keep pace with our fast-growing city and to keep our response times in line with current standards.

That is why last year, I laid out a commitment to hire 56 additional paramedics during this term of Council.

Budget 2020 provided funding to hire 14 front-line paramedics, the 2nd installment on our four-year goal.

This investment will bolster our efforts to reduce wait times in our fast-growing suburbs and rural communities.

However, we know that more needs to be done to reduce the number of “level zeros” we are experiencing in Ottawa – which is a concern for me and residents alike.

I can assure you that senior staff, Chair Sudds and I are working with area hospitals to find solutions.

We hope that hospitals hire more nurses, secure more permanent beds and release paramedics back into the community to do their job.

Last Wednesday, I spoke with Premier Ford to explain this is an urgent matter and we need the Province to help break this constant logjam. He fully understands the dilemma many paramedics across Ontario are facing, and pledged to help us to find a permanent solution to this ongoing struggle.

The draft 2020 Budget will also maintain support for the addition of 85 new police officers over the course of this term. Again, this year we will see 30 new officers join the service.

Also, Budget 2020 supports Crime Prevention Ottawa to advance ongoing crime prevention initiatives, including with at-risk youth.

Crime Prevention Ottawa will receive over $1 million in funding to support crime prevention initiatives, which is an increase of $35,000 from 2019.

I would like to thank Councillor Deans for her leadership as chair of Crime Prevention Ottawa and the Ottawa Police Services Board.

I would also like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Chief Peter Sloly to Ottawa. I look forward to working with him on the Police Board. I told Councillor Deans last week that she and the Police Board did an excellent job in choosing the new Chief.

Earlier today, the Ottawa Police Service tabled their draft budget that comes in at 3% on the tax side, plus 1.5% in new growth dollars.

Council is also aware that traditionally, the City has had to cover OPS annual deficits, which for the last three years was a total one-time contribution of $12.3 million…

And you may remember that last, year we provided an additional $2.4 million from our tax stabilization fund towards their budget.

However, I am pleased to say that this year, OPS did not run a deficit – for that I would like to thank acting Chief Steve Bell for his stewardship and willingness to look for new ways of finding efficiencies and operational savings.

Un gros merci au Chef Steve Bell pour son service et leadership au cours des derniers mois, et sa volonté de trouver des façons d’équilibrer le budget de la Police.

In fact, I was pleased to hear that OPS is forecasted to end the year with a $2.4 million surplus, which will help offset the 2020 contribution from the City’s tax stabilization fund.

We all know that building safer and more resilient communities requires a balanced approach to spending.

Last year, I brought forward a motion to expedite the introduction of 20 new red-light cameras.

I am happy to say that these red-light cameras generated an additional $1.3 million for the Police Service to help offset their ongoing operational pressures.

This revenue to OPS is up from $450,000 in 2019.

In 2019, six red-light cameras were installed – and I am pleased to say that by the end of 2020, another 14 locations will be equipped with red-light cameras.

There has been a reduction of over 50% in right-angle collisions at intersections where red light cameras have been installed.

Nous avons fait beaucoup de progrès avec ces caméras aux feux rouges pour réduire le nombre d’accidents et financer les activitiés de la Police, de même que des mesures de sécurité de la route.

Revenues generated by these 20 red-light cameras will be directed to the Ottawa Police Service, and any additional cameras will be directed to fund the Strategic Road Safety Action Plan.

This Plan will implement traffic calming around schools, advance the pedestrian and cycling safety programs, install gateway speed signage in many neighbourhoods and make improvements to warranted pedestrian signals.

Last year, we also worked with the Ottawa Police Services Board to find more efficiencies in their budget.

To date, and in part through the provincial Audit and Accountability Fund, OPS has been able to identify $2.2 million in back-office efficiencies. It is my expectation that this review will result in even further savings in 2020.

We need to continue to work together with OPS on budget solutions, so that we are better placed to protect our ongoing investment in the hiring of front-line officers.

The City has been focusing on the revitalization of priority neighbourhoods with a ‘made-in-Ottawa’ strategy. Using new and existing program and service initiatives, updating infrastructure and promoting redevelopment, the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods (BBRN) program improves the health, vibrancy and livability of priority neighbourhoods.

We will invest $180,000 in BBRN in 2020 to complete a variety of initiatives that were identified by the community as priorities.

I would like to thank Councillors Harder, Tierney, Deans and Fleury for their participation on the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods Sponsors Group. Councillor King has also offered his support for BBRN.

Just last week, the City introduced a new approach to support residents in areas of emerging need through the Integrated Neighbourhood Services Teams. These teams will address the health and well-being of our neighbourhoods facing the most complex needs through a coordinated service delivery approach.

Initial areas of focus for the Integrated Neighbourhood Services Teams will include Vanier Overbrook, Caldwell-Carlington and Heron Gate-South End.

With the help of $2.7 million in funding from the Provincial Government, Ottawa Public Health will be introducing new dental care services for low income seniors at the four city-supported dental clinics and with dental service partners across our city.

Undoubtedly, 2020 will be a year of transition at Ottawa Public Health, with the recent announcements regarding governance of public health in Ontario and a change to the provincial funding formula.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chair Keith Egli and Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and her team, for their proactive engagement on these consultations with the provincial government.

I believe that their leadership will help steward Ottawa Public Health through these changes, so they can continue to work towards positive health outcomes for Ottawa residents.

The City has a proactive environmental strategy that targets an 80% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

It is working toward this target through its Air Quality and Climate Change Management Plan, Official Plan policies, its energy transition strategy (Energy Evolution) and a variety of specific energy conservation and environmental initiatives.

The City is also taking a proactive approach to protecting and preserving its natural assets for future generations through initiatives such as the Ottawa River Action Plan and the Urban Forest Management Plan.

Nous devons investir dans notre environnement, et c’est ce que nous ferons dans le Budget de 2020.

Budget 2020 will invest $1.5 million in Tree Planting Programs to increase forest cover, enhance City streets, parks and facilities, and mitigate climate change. Our goal is to plant 500,000 trees in this Term of Council.

Many of the initiatives underway – for example, converting our streetlights to LED lighting, greening our vehicle fleet and our buildings – are also reaping economic benefits in terms of cost savings for our City operations.

We are also working on increasing the City’s capacity for climate resilience through important initiatives such as updating floodplain mapping and community flood risk profiles – to better position vulnerable areas for future environmental stresses.

Budget 2020 includes $3 million for the Energy Management and Investment Strategy to reduce the City’s environmental footprint, ensure compliance under the Green Energy Act and advance our energy conservation and demand management goals.

Budget 2020 also includes $200,000 for the Wild Parsnip Management Program. This funding supports approximately 1,500 kilometres of roadside spraying and spot spraying at over 100 parkland locations.

I would like to thank Chair Moffatt and Chair El-Chantiry for their commitment to this program and for their leadership on supporting an environmentally sustainable Ottawa.

2019 has been a year of change on City roads and across our transit system with the introduction of light rail.

It is not a surprise that again this year, the dominant issue that we heard from residents is that our residents want us to invest more in our city’s roads, our infrastructure and the transit system.

La condition de nos routes, de notre infrastructure et du transport en commun sont des priorités dans toutes les communautés.

Transit and transportation capital investments will be especially challenging this year due to the decision of the provincial government not to double the gas tax for municipalities.

As you may recall, last year, Council approved adding $9.8 million to the contribution to capital over a five-year period to eliminate this infrastructure gap.

A second challenge is that the doubling of the gas tax was built into the Transit Long-Term Financial Plan.

Over the 30-year period, $980 million in funds was to be provided through the gas tax increase to pay for transit capital works.

Both problems need to be solved through the 2020 Budget in order to meet the goals set by Council.

Thankfully in 2019, the federal government announced a one-time doubling of the federal gas tax, totaling $58 million for the City of Ottawa. I want to thank local government Members of Parliament and the Prime Minister for this much needed investment.

I would also like to thank our FCM representative, Councillor Tierney, for advocating so effectively for this announcement.

This 2019 federal funding allowed us to develop the plan that is before you today – one that will address these two issues for Council’s consideration in the 2020 budget.

For 2020, we are proposing that the transit levy increase and that we add a $9.8-million increase to transit’s capital contribution, which is within the overall tax cap of 3 percent.

It is important to remember that this increase in the transit levy represents roughly $42 for the average homeowner and is included within the overall tax cap of 3 per cent.

Ces mesures sont toutes à l’intérieur de l’augmentation maximale de 3 pourcent.

The city-wide tax levy will increase by 2% and the $58 million in one-time federal gas tax funds will be used as a substitute for the $9.8 million that would have been added to the contribution to capital to eliminate the infrastructure gap.

This innovative approach solves the two challenges resulting from the cancellation of the gas tax increase by the Province. It also ensures that we meet Council’s desire to see more investment in roads and infrastructure renewal works.

Our total investments to maintain and renew tax-supported assets such as roads, sidewalks and facilities will increase by $22.5 million this year – bringing us to $151 million invested in 2020.

That’s an increase of 18% over 2019.

Because of these investments, the existing infrastructure funding gap will be fully addressed within seven years – instead of the projected 10 years – while adding no new debt.

À ce rythme d’investissement, nous pourrons éliminer le déficit d’infrastructure de la Ville en sept ans.

Members of Council need to stay the course on this priority and get the job done to eliminate the infrastructure deficit facing our city.

We have heard at the budget consultations that we need to do a much better job of improving our roads, sidewalks, pathways and facilities

In 2020, the road resurfacing budget – including rural road upgrades and preservation treatments –  will be $51 million, up from the yearly average of $35.5 million over the last Term of Council.

This investment in road resurfacing includes:

  • $2.2 million for Heatherington Road, from Albion to Walkley, in Councillor Deans’ Ward, including sidewalk renewal;
  • $2.3 million for St. Laurent Boulevard, from Montreal Road to Donald Street, in Councillor King’s Ward, including sidewalk renewal;
  • $12.7 million for bridges (Booth, Mackenzie King and Pooley) in Councillor McKenney’s Ward;
  • $6.5 million for integrated work on Scott Street west of Smirle Avenue, in Councillor Leiper’s Ward;
  • $4 million for Riverside Drive, from Hunt Club to Walkley, in Councillor Brockington’s Ward;
  • $2.5 million for March Road, from Carling Avenue to Shirley’s Brook, in Councillor Sudds’ Ward;
  • Over $2 million for Bronson Avenue, from Brookfield to South of Brewer Way, and for the Southbound lanes and intersection at Sunnyside, in Councillor Menard’s Ward;
  • $1.6 million for Riverside Drive, from Hincks Lane to Tremblay Road, and $1.4 million for Chapman Boulevard in Councillor Cloutier’s Ward, including sidewalk renewal;
  • $2 million for Merivale Road and $4 million to resurface the parking lot at the Nepean Sportsplex in Councillor Egli’s Ward; and
  • $3.5 million to resurface Huntley Road, from Perth Street to Flewellyn Road, in Councillor Moffatt’s Ward.

Nous allons voir des investissements en infrastructure dans tous les coins de la ville.

Some priority resurfacing projects require a coordination of timelines with planned and needed sewer and culvert projects.

As you can imagine, staff must juggle the coordination of infrastructure investments, the need to consider local traffic and mobility, and the restriction of funding constraints.

In addition, Council has approved our priorities through our Comprehensive Asset Management Program and the Transportation Master Plan which guide their infrastructure needs forecast.

Our rural infrastructure investments will reach $44.5 million in 2020, up from the four-year average of $39.7 million.

For example, our rural investments include:

  • $1.8 million to design and construct 11 culverts in Councillor Moffatt’s Ward;
  • $2 million for Piperville Road and Bearbrook Bridge in Councillor Blais’ Ward;
  • $3.6 million to design and build 25 culverts, and $3.1 million for gravel road upgrades, including Spruce Ridge Road in Councillor El-Chantiry’s Ward; and
  • $1.2 million for Dalmeny Road, $2.4 million for Snake Island Road, and $1.3 million for River Road in Councillor Darouze’s Ward.

Budget 2020 also invests $66.2 million for Road Growth projects, including:

  • $41 million for Strandherd Drive, from Maravista to Jockvale, in Councillor Harder’s Ward; and
  • $4.2 million for Kanata South Link, between Hope Side to Highway 416, something I know Councillor Hubley has worked to secure for many years.

Budget 2020 will allow the City to resurface, renew or rehabilitate approximately 100 kilometres of roads across the city.

Nous savons qu’Ottawa a l’un des plus grands réseaux de transport au Canada.

City teams regularly clear 6,000 kilometres of roads and 2,300 kilometres of sidewalks throughout the city.

Maintaining our network is expensive – and last year’s harsh winter left our winter maintenance budget in deficit.

The 2020 estimated base budget for Winter Operations is increasing by $5.6 million for a total of $78.3 million, which is a 7.7% increase over 2019.

Of the $5.6 million increase, approximately $2.9 million will be allocated to sidewalk maintenance.

I am pleased to say that the Winter Operations budget now reflects the latest 3-year average actuals (2016-2018).

The 2020 Draft Budget also includes $250,000 in funding to undertake a review of the winter operations Maintenance Quality Standards, which will focus on sidewalks and Class 5 residential roads.

Following last year’s challenging winter, staff have been reviewing their service delivery model to ensure better sidewalk maintenance this coming winter.

They will be increasing coverage on the network with a goal of having 24/7 coverage available on all sidewalk beats.

We are getting away from a “one size fits all” approach, and salt, sand and grit will be available across all areas.

Staff have also created area-specific heat maps focusing on problem areas across the city, like catch basins that have been problematic in the past.

Finally, we are deploying more and better sidewalk clearing equipment, like the very effective ice-breakers we started piloting last winter.

We believe all these measures will lead to better clearing and safer sidewalks for residents this coming winter.

Avec toutes ces mesures, nous croyons que nos résidents profiterons de meilleurs conditions sur les trottoirs au cours de l’hiver prochain.

The number of freeze-thaw cycles in 2019 also led to far too many potholes.

For example, between January 1 and October 15, City staff have filled 262,000 potholes across the city – which is 18% higher than the three-year average.

The 2020 budget for pothole repair includes a $600,000 increase to the asphalt repair program, bringing the annual program to $9.8 million, which is a 7% increase over 2019.

Budget 2020 also includes $1.65 million to fund the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Program, with each Councillor receiving $50,000 for road safety initiatives in their community – an increase of 25% over 2018.

There is also $500,000 set aside for Pedestrian Crossovers, in order to improve the safety of pedestrians at key crossings across the city.

As a result of the 2016-2018 Pedestrian Crossover Pilot Program, there is a list of approximately 100 locations city-wide that have been confirmed to meet the pedestrian/traffic volume warrants for PXO implementation.

Further review of these locations is underway to select the type of PXO required.

Once the reviews are concluded, staff will be working with respective Ward Councillors to prioritize the installation of the warranted PXOs within their wards.

The 2020 list of PXO installations will be available in the coming weeks, once all meetings have concluded with Councillors.

I know that Councillors Gower and Darouze want to see PXOs in their respective wards at Stittsville Main Street and at St. Mark’s High School and Greely Elementary.

There is also $4.2 million for intersection control measures, and just over $3 million for network modifications for Albion Road and Leitrim Road.

Budget 2020 includes:

  • $2.4 million for New Traffic Control Devices Program;
  • $1 million for the Safety Improvements Program, which monitors traffic collisions annually and undertakes necessary roadway modifications.

In 2020 this program will see improvements at Laurier Avenue West – between Elgin and the Queen Elizabeth ramp – and road safety improvements at McCarthy Road Curve;

  • $600,000 towards Accessible Pedestrian Signals; and
  • $420,000 for Safer Roads Ottawa.

Again, this year, Budget 2020 also includes funding for active transportation – with an investment in both the Ottawa Pedestrian and Cycling Plan of $9.1 million.

Ce financement nous permettra de prévenir ou d’éliminer les décès et les accidents de la routes à travers Ottawa.

We remain committed to develop a safe and sustainable transportation environment that focuses on pedestrian and cycling safety, with funding geared towards highest ranked locations – as I think we can all agree that any cycling or pedestrian death is one too many.

Ottawa has:

  • 980 km of cycling facilities;
  • over 356 km of City-owned multi-use pathways (MUPs);
  • 117 km of cycling facilities that were added in during the 2014-2018 Term of Council; and
  • More than $80 million of investments over the 2014-2018 Term of Council to expand cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in all parts of the city.

The multi-use-pathway network includes 30 major grade-separated structures that provide connections for pedestrians and cyclists across major roadways, rail corridors and rivers.

Examples of active transportation projects to be funded in 2020 include:

  • $4.71 million for the Ottawa Cycling Facilities Program, to plan design and construct cycling facilities identified in the Cycling Plan;
  • $2.75 million for the Pedestrian Facilities Program;
  • $1.95 million for the cycling and pedestrian bridge over the Rideau River at Carleton University;
  • $22,000 for pedestrian intersection improvements;
  • $1.35 million to improve active transportation links to Stage 2 LRT;
  • $34,000 to introduce new Transportation Demand Management measures, such as cycling education, cycling safety, school travel planning, bike-to-work campaign, carpooling promotion and for the development of regional cycling maps; and
  • $6.24 million will be used to repurpose the bus lanes, widen sidewalks and improve cycling facilities on Albert and Slater Streets between Empress and Waller.

Budget 2020 also includes $4.2 million for intersection control measures in growth areas. There is also $3 million for modifications to existing intersections.

Staff will be working to make intersections safer with $2.4 million towards the New Traffic Control Devices Program in established areas.

For example, through this program, we will be installing a pedestrian signal on Laurier near Percy.

Roundabouts are also considered as an alternative means of providing traffic control.

In 2020, funding is going towards the construction of a roundabout at:

  • Huntmar Drive at Richardson Side Road in Councillor El-Chantiry’s Ward; and
  • Barnsdale Road at Prince of Wales Drive in Councillor Moffatt’s Ward;

In addition, Budget 2020 includes $4 million towards initiatives identified in the 2020-2024 Strategic Road Safety Action Plan.

The Strategic Road Safety Action Plan identifies areas for road safety, along with countermeasures that can be implemented to address associated collision types.

These initiatives align with Vision Zero (or Safe System) principles of road safety. The emphasis will be on areas with vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – at intersections and on rural roads.

I want to thank Chair Blais for his hard work on this long list of road safety initiatives.

Staff are currently undertaking a study to better understand the condition of roads impacted by spring flooding and the recent tornado. This is particularly important for Councillors El-Chantiry, Kavanagh, Blais and Egli, who’s wards were hardest hit by the tornado and the flooding.

This study is expected in the coming weeks and will inform the rehabilitation of roads in Wards 5, 9, 10, 7 and 19.

The City will also be seeking provincial disaster mitigation funding to increase our investment in these impacted areas.

In 2020, the City will be investing $4 million to improve the City’s capacity to manage stormwater and reduce the risk of flooding through the Wet Weather Infrastructure Master Plan. Further flood-mitigation efforts include $15 million to repair and replace culverts, including $9 million in the rural areas.

Council recently approved an additional $500,000 investment in the Britannia Village berm in Councillor Kavanagh’s Ward. The berm was effective in protecting Britannia during the 2017 and 2019 floods, but the flood in 2019 was prolonged and there is evidence of leakage due to floodwater. The money will be used to make much needed repairs.

We also heard from residents across the city about the need to improve transit – connectivity to our LRT system and to improve bus dependability across the city.

I would like to remind residents about the largest single investment in transit in 2020 – our Stage 2 LRT system: a $4.7 billion investment.

Stage 2 of Ottawa’s light rail transit system will extend service:

  • East by 12 kilometres and five stations, from Blair Station to Trim Station;
  • West by 15 kilometres and 11 stations, from Tunney’s Pasture Station to Algonquin and Moodie stations;
  • South on Trillium Line by 12 kilometres and eight stations, from Greenboro Station to Limebank Station in Councillor Meehan’s Ward, and this ncludes a link to the Ottawa International Airport.

In 2020, the City is forecasted to spend $817 million on the Stage 2 project.

Along with this investment in LRT, the City will be spending $725,000 to review and update our Transportation Master Plan.

Nous commencerons cette année l’exercise important de revoir le Plan directeur des transports de la Ville.

I want to take a moment to recognize and acknowledge that there have been times over the last few weeks where both our bus and LRT service has been challenged.

As a City, we need to do better.

We will have a more fulsome discussion on LRT at Transit Commission this afternoon, as Chair Hubley and Mr. Manconi will update the Commission on their progress to finding solutions to these frustrating issues.

In anticipation of these challenges, in 2019 we included $5.1 million annually to deliver bus service improvements to many communities across the city.

This funding saw incremental investments in routes in almost every ward. But this investment has proven not to be enough.

That is why again in 2020, we will be investing an additional $7.5 million to expand the bus network to improve service reliability, increase capacity, reduce waiting times and provide new connections to growth areas.

This funding will increase the number of standby buses at key locations and will allow for additional time on routes to accommodate for traffic.

It will also increase capacity on high-ridership routes, provide improved connections in new growth areas, allow for additional early and late trips and improve service to employment hubs and park-and-rides.

We have heard loud and clear that riders on routes 20, 39, 257 and 75 – among many others that will be discussed later today at Transit Commission – want better dependability in their bus service.

My staff has been working with the Good Companions Centre to increase service and access to the centre, which plays such an important role in fighting social isolation for hundreds of seniors in our community. A solution has been found and will be announced in the near future.

Staff are currently reviewing service needs in the following areas:

  • Capacity on Orleans routes connecting to and from Blair Station, to better serve Councillor Tierney, Blais, Dudas and Luloff’s Wards;
  • Barrhaven routes connecting to and from Tunney’s Pasture Station for residents of Councillors Harder and Egli’s Wards;
  • Service to National Defence Headquarters in Councillor Kavanagh’s Ward;
  • Possible earlier and later trips on local routes, as customers adjust travel times;
  • Weekend service to the Museum of Canadian History;
  • Overnight service and connections to Rideau Station; and
  • All connections to fast growing areas in Barrhaven South, Ottawa South, Stittsville, Kanata, Orleans and Richmond.

Merci à tous les conseillers qui ont fait pression pour obtenir ce nouvel investissement.

Budget 2020 includes $43 million to replace 63 buses that have reached the end of their 15-year life cycle, and $6 million for the introduction of electric buses, as part of a pilot program that will start next year with the support of the federal government – thanks to Minister Catherine McKenna.

With the launch of LRT in our city, we also put in place measures to ensure that these historic transit investments benefit all residents – including those who need it the most – either to go to work or to get to medical appointments.

That is why we introduced the EquiPass and EquiFare in 2017 – to offer our low-income residents access to transit services at a deep 50 per cent discount.

In the month of October 2019, more than 4,000 EquiPass monthly passes were sold, and 12,800 residents had registered as eligible EquiPass users.

The EquiPass costs $58.25 monthly for residents below the poverty line, and saves eligible users approximately $700 annually.

I am happy to announce that the cost of the 2020 EquiPass and Community Pass will both be frozen at 2019 rates.

This one-year freeze for our most vulnerable riders will be achieved with a one-time contribution of $95,000 for the EquiPass and $75,000 for the Community Pass – to bring the total subsidy to $9.6 million in 2020.

Je suis fier que nous puissions aider nos résidents dans le besoin à profiter du transport en commun.

We have also heard from the community that more needs to be done to improve service for Para Transpo uses.

Budget 2020 includes an increase of $2 million in annual funding for Para Transpo, to provide more capacity to meet increasing ridership levels – and this brings the total Para Transpo operating budget to just over $33 million annually.

In 2020, Para Transpo will also introduce a full suite of online services to improve the booking experience and reduce wait times for customers.

Budget 2020 also recommends investing $14.5 million in transit growth projects, including:

  • $9.3 million for transit-priority measures along Baseline – west of Woodroffe to Bayshore Station;
  • $1.7 million to acquire property for new park-and-ride facilities, including Fernbank in Kanata;
  • $1.7 million to purchase railway corridors for Transit Corridor Protection; and
  • Over $1 million for rapid transit planning through environmental assessments.

My thanks to Chair Hubley and Vice-Chair Cloutier for their strong advocacy to ensure that we drastically improve the reliability of the service.

The City is also investing in several parks and community facilities, including but not limited to:

  • $4 million for Blackburn Arena Expansion and $350,000 for a new splash pad at Blackburn Park in Innes – a project Councillor Dudas has been pursuing for the past several years;
  • $1.4 million for Corkery Community Building Expansion in West Carleton – a important priority for Councillor El-Chantiry;
  • Over $1 million for park improvements, including a playground and pathway in Fairmile View Park, a park replacement at Richmond Lions Park and Healey’s Heath Park, and new parks in Meynell and Washka Park in Rideau-Goulbourn – long overdue investments in Councillor Moffatt’s Ward;
  • $300,000 for Stinson Park and the study for Field Hockey Park in Barrhaven;
  • $205,000 for Kenmore Bicentennial Park playground structure in Councillor Darouze’s Ward;
  • $300,000 for Village Square Park in Stittsville – an important project in Councillor Gower’s Ward and the site of many community activities; and
  • $700,000 for park improvements in Kanata North.

New in 2020, through strategic initiatives, is a $2.4 million ward-specific Recreation Infrastructure Investment Fund.

This fund will provide each Member of Council with $100,000 to allocate towards local capital priorities.

Projects could include park improvements like courts, gazebos, rink bunkers and boards. This fund could also go towards building improvements like climbing walls, and floor upgrades in gyms and fitness areas.

Ce fonds permettra à chaque membre du Conseil de répondre rapidement aux besoins de la communauté pour des améliorations mineures dans des parcs ou des installations municipales.

In 2020, funding from upper levels of government will be announced for projects approved through the new Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Community, Culture and Recreation Fund.

As you are all aware, this infrastructure program is to be funded jointly by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

The municipal share of each project approved will be 26.67%.

Ottawa is anticipating an allocation of approximately $65 million through this program.

It is my understanding that we have submitted several exciting projects for consideration including, but not limited to:

  • East Urban Community Centre;
  • Le centre récréatif Francois Dupuis;
  • Barrhaven Community and Cultural Centre in Councillor Meehan and Harder’s Ward; and
  • Five parking lots at recreation facilities like Fitzroy community Centre.

There are several areas of Ottawa where the community and the not-for-profit sector has demonstrated a renewed interest in the development and maintenance of winter trails, in order to facilitate a variety of non-motorized winter sports.

I am pleased to say that the City and the NCC have been working together in a coordinated fashion to support winter trails and that staff have come to an agreement on a cost-sharing basis to support a number of trail initiatives.

Staff is working with the Winter Trail Alliance to finalize these agreements to support Ski Heritage East in Councillor Luloff’s Ward and SJAM, in partnership with Dovercourt, in Councillor Leiper and Kavanagh’s Wards.

As you know, Ottawa 20/20 Arts and Heritage Plan, adopted by City Council in 2003, articulated a 20-year vision and strategic direction for the advancement of culture in Ottawa.

City of Ottawa departments have planned and delivered on the 57 actions recommended in the plan and other key cultural projects since 2013.

Cities worldwide are embracing culture as critical to a city’s identify, livability, social cohesion and economic prosperity.

Les arts et la culture sont essentielles à notre identité et à notre prospérité.

In 2018, the City processed 471 submissions resulting in a total of 321 unique allocations to 175 local not-for-profit cultural organizations and 103 individuals to deliver arts, heritage, festival and cultural programs.

Budget 2020 includes an additional $255,000 for a total budget of just over $10.7 million for the cultural community.

The next two years will focus on completion of actions underway and the review of outstanding actions.

In 2020, we will begin planning and consulting to produce Ottawa’s next 10-year cultural blueprint.

Ottawa has also made several important capital investments in the arts and culture community   including $19.4 million for the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court redevelopment, and more than $2 million for La Nouvelle Scène.

Later this month, we are hosting the final series of public engagement sessions for the future Central Library, a partnership with Library and Archives Canada. This concludes the most ambitious public consultation the City has undertaken for a public facility.

Councillor Tim Tierney has been working tirelessly on this project, and he has assured me without hesitation that the entire city will be very impressed. We will unveil the design with our federal partners in the first quarter of 2020.

I know that our residents will be very excited with the proposed design of this important civic facility.

To date, close to 6,000 citizens have contributed in-person and online and they have inspired the location and design of this iconic facility in the heart of our nation’s capital.

I want to thank Minister Catherine McKenna for her steadfast support of this project – a partnership with Library and Archives Canada.

Budget 2020 also includes funding to celebrate Kanata’s 50th Anniversary with the residents in Councillors Hubley and Sudds’ wards. $50,000 in funding will be available to celebrate this unique golden anniversary.

Yesterday at FEDCO, we approved $300,000 in funding for the Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration and $500,000 for the Tax Increment Equivalent Grant.

I would like to thank chair Gower for his leadership on navigating these useful tools that will assist in the preservation of properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Since I was elected Mayor, I have made a commitment to the residents of Ottawa to keep taxes reasonable, deliver the services residents expect and keep the city affordable while building our core infrastructure.

These have been my top priorities over the past two mandates.

Je suis fier d’avoir respecté mes engagements envers les contribuables au cours des huit dernières années.

With a new government at the Province and a minority government at the federal level, it is clear that again this year, we need to be prepared for a change in approach, variations in policy and some uncertainty in funding – many of which could impact areas of municipal life.

I believed in being up front with residents – and that is why I have been consistent and transparent about our tax goal of no more than 3 per cent for 2020.

I’ve heard from residents – and I believe they are prepared to contribute to improve our transit service, infrastructure and mobility and they have made it clear that they want their City to provide services that put residents first.

We also heard that they want Budget 2020 to balance fiscal and social responsibility.

I think that Budget 2020 strikes that right balance.

The budget proposes innovative solutions to address our infrastructure funding issues made more challenging by changes in funding from upper levels of government.

By taking a balanced approach, Budget 2020 helps ensure Ottawa remains a safe and vibrant community for decades to come.

It also keeps a keen eye on the conditions that create economic opportunities and includes programs to help communities thrive.

Budget 2020 also keeps our debt affordable, our debt ratio well below the provincial average and maintains our triple A credit rating.

Our city must remain affordable so that people can have a place to call home in a safe and supportive community.

With Council’s support, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Ottawa gets its fair share of available funding from upper levels of government moving forward on such city building priorities as extending LRT to Stittsville, Kanata and Barrhaven in Stage 3.

I want to thank all residents and Members of Council who contributed ideas to the 2020 Budget process.

Merci à tous nos résidents qui ont contribué au processus budgétaire 2020.

I also want to thank all the Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Committee members for their input to date – and for the work ahead to facilitate their respective budgets through their committees.

Merci à tous les conseillers pour leurs idées et leur participation importante à ce processus budgétaire.

I would like to thank my own team in the Mayor’s Office in particular Robyn Guest and Serge Arpin for working closely with the City Manager and City Treasurer on Budget 2020, as mandated by Council.

I would like to end by expressing my gratitude for the hard work, integrity and professionalism of our municipal public service – work often done under very challenging conditions.

This budget will be the last for our exceptionally competent and dedicated General Manager of Financial Services and City Treasurer, Marian Simulik.

I want to thank Marian for her patience, persistence and dedication to the 2020 Budget and the many, many budgets that preceded it.

Ms. Simulik has a unique gift of exceptional financial facts, innovative imagination and a keen dedication to finding elegant solutions to complex financial problems that save money and protect taxpayers.

Marian also has an unprecedented ability to communicate complex budget information to the average taxpayer and to explain the financial complexities to Members of Council.

Marian, on behalf of all of Council, and the over one million residents of Ottawa, I would like to thank you for your years of service, for your work ethic, your candor and your steadfast commitment to this city and its long-term financial health.

It would be a gross understatement to say that you will be greatly missed.

But for now, I am thrilled to know that you will be with us for these final deliberations on Budget 2020.

I believe that Budget 2020 strikes the right balance between:

  • keeping our city affordable;
  • improving the conditions on our roads and transit network;
  • delivering a sustainable infrastructure plan; and
  • maintaining core services and programs.

This balanced approach positions Ottawa for continued growth, prosperity and livability.

Thank you / Merci

…and now we will hear from the City Manager.