I wanted to give you a very quick update on today's budget debate at Ottawa City Hall.
This morning as a result of the strong fiscal framework we've put in place and the discipline to stick to our long-term plans City Council learned the City Treasurer is now forecasting a surplus of $15 million in 2017.
This is excellent news for taxpayers. Strong fiscal management has allowed us to successfully fend off an attempt to increase taxes far above the rate of inflation.
The 2018 draft budget continues our efforts to keep tax changes under control allowing families to better budget to meet the growing demands of modern life.
The draft budget includes more than $125 million in capital funding to support the renewal of existing City assets including buildings, roads, bridges and sidewalks, an increase of $10.5 million.
The budget increases spending for pothole repairs by $600,000, bringing the total spent on asphalt repairs to $8 million. Road resurfacing spending increases by 17%, or $5.6 million, reaching $39.2 million for the year.
Draft Budget 2018 includes $68.3 million for winter operations, an increase of $2.3 million.
Moreover, this year’s budget will see some important investments in Orléans and Cumberland to improve commuting, enhance parks & recreation and improve our quality of life.
Roads, recreation, and transit receive boost
Cumberland City Councillor and chair of the Transit Commission Stephen Blais is pleased to announce that residents of Orléans & Cumberland will see huge benefits from the Ottawa Budget 2017
“We are making significant investments in Orléans and in our rural communities without the huge tax increases of the past,” says Councillor Blais. “This marks another successful year of investment in the East-End as we continue to strengthen our community.”
Budget 2016 Demonstrates Sound Fiscal Management
Cumberland City Councillor Stephen Blais is proud to announce that for the fifth straight year, Orléans & Cumberland residents will receive its fair share in the tabled Ottawa Budget 2016. Budget 2016 continues our commitment to strong fiscal management that provides for significant new investments while ensuring Ottawa remains an affordable City to live and work.
-- Recreation and Roads major focus of investments --
Cumberland City Councillor Stephen Blais is proud to announce that Orléans & Cumberland residents are winning big in Ottawa Budget 2015. Budget 2015 includes more than $20 million in new investments to support our growing community while bringing in the lowest tax change in eight years.
When I sought to represent my family, friends, neighbours and residents, I recalled a line from Scripture that says, "And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season, we shall reap, if we faint not."
Today, the City of Ottawa tabled the draft 2014 budget and it’s a big win for the families of Orléans & Cumberland.
I am pleased to report that Ottawa’s property taxes will not rise above the rate of inflation for the second straight year. In fact, this year’s increase of 2.39% is lower than last year’s rate of 2.45%. Keeping taxes below the rate of inflation is important because of the many stories I heard on the campaign trail that seniors were leaving their homes due to previous Council’s hikes of 4.9% in 2008; 4.9% in 2009 and 3.9% in 2010.
Cumberland City Councillor Stephen Blais is pleased to announce the City of Ottawa is investing in technology that will lead to millions in savings for Ottawa taxpayers.
“Our investments in technology will help ensure our workforce is more efficient and productive,” says Blais. “By limiting employee travel-time between City facilities, we will improve productivity, while at the same time, reduce reimbursements for parking and mileage.”
The city can't continue to offer neighbourhoods a special tax to pay for city programs.
That's the word from Capital Coun. David Chernushenko. "My concern is we're really starting to levy-ize the way we do politics," he said Tuesday.
A special tax would be one option to pay for the burial of overhead hydro wires along Bank St. in the Glebe. Some businesses and residents want the wire put underground to clean up the streetscape.
But staff say the city can't afford the burial projects.
It would cost between $2 million and $5 million for each kilometre.
When I decided to run for Ottawa City Council, I often thought of my many discussions with my grandmother, as she was very active in politics throughout her entire life. She would often advise candidates seeking her support to only promise what they could accomplish, and nothing more. Given her keen intuition, I suspect she knew early on of my strong desire for public service, long before I ever sought elective office.
Which projects are shelved remains unknown to councillors, public
The city's technology department has shelved more than half of the projects it had in the works as recently as last year, but most people still don't know which ones ended up cancelled.
To this end, I promised the voters of Cumberland ward that should I be elected to represent them, that my ability to work well with our Mayor Jim Watson would lead to results for our community. Moreover, it would provide value for the hard earned money they send to City Hall and ease the amount that we levy upon them to deliver City services.