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Advancing Ottawa with Draft Budget 2024

Ottawa’s Draft Budget 2024, tabled November 8th at City Council, invests in advancing Ottawa to be a resilient, affordable and connected city. This year’s budget development process includes various enhancements to improve budget literacy, transparency and make it easier for residents to become engaged, like a new interactive and user-friendly Budget Tool and a Budget Tabling Report that highlights 2024 investments in a more simple, user-friendly manner.


Budget 2024 invests in the core services that residents rely on every day, and key priorities to make Ottawa better. These priority areas include:

• A city that has affordable housing and is more liveable for all

• A city that is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options

• A city that is green and resilient

• A city with a diversified and prosperous economy


The City is proposing an overall tax increase of 2.5 per cent – keeping the city affordable for residents who have faced financial hardship due to a higher cost of living resulting from rising inflation and the pandemic. At 2.5 per cent, the average urban homeowner would pay an additional $105 on their annual property tax bill, while the average rural homeowner would pay an additional $86.


A city that has affordable housing and is more liveable for all


As a City, we know we need to invest in housing and housing options, including affordable housing. We also need to improve access to mental health and substance abuse health supports, emergency services, employment services, licensed child care, arts and culture, and parks and recreation.


Draft Budget 2024 includes $33.5 million in Municipal City Homelessness Funding which will invest $15.7 million for the housing and homelessness investment plan, provide $8.8 million for housing related benefits. $4.6 million for family and emergency shelters, $3.1 million for other homelessness programs and $1.3 million to support the social housing program. In addition, the City will invest $5 million to support the Integrated Transition to Housing Strategy and $21.8 million in affordable housing as part of the Housing Long Range Financial Plan.


Other highlights include:

• More than $62 million in parks and building investments

• $48.4 million in Provincial Homelessness Prevention Program Funding for community outreach and support services, emergency shelter solutions, housing assistance, supportive housing and administration

• $29.4 million through the Community Funding Framework to invest financial and capacity building resources in the non-profit social services sector to address poverty, inequitable access to services and other barriers

• More than $16 million in community safety investments

• $15.8 million in Federal Reaching Home Funding

• $15.2 million in Federal-Provincial Canada-Ontario Community Housing Initiative funding

• $5.9 million in Federal-Provincial Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative funding

• $1.5 million in provincial and municipal investments to maintain Ottawa Public Health programs

• $466,000 for the Neighbourhood Health and Wellness Hub Expansion funded by the provincial Ministry of Health


A city that is more connected with reliable, safe and accessible mobility options


Wherever possible, the City wants to connect critical walking and cycling missing links. Using public and active transportation helps us be climate conscious and create a healthier, more equitable and inclusive city for residents and visitors. The City will continue to focus on strengthening the reliability of our transit system and introduce new and innovative ways to deliver service.


Draft Budget 2024 includes more than $300 million for overall integrated road construction and road renewal, storm and surface water rehabilitation, bridges, sidewalks and pathways.


Draft Budget 2024 invests more than $62 million for traffic and pedestrian safety improvements, ranging from intersection control measures, programs for cycling and pedestrian facilities, network modifications, active transportation, neighbourhood traffic calming, and more. It also includes road safety initiatives in accordance with the approved Strategic Road Safety Action Plan.


Other highlights include:

• Investing $366 million in Stage 2 of light rail during 2024, with an additional $11.9 million added to support the Rail Operational Readiness Program.

• $140 million for bridge renewals, road rehabilitation and road resurfacing work

• $4.4 million to establish a new Automated Speed Enforcement processing centre

• More than $3 million to:

• Adapt and extend the life of parking facility infrastructure

• Support the installation of additional EV charging within the right-of-way

• Implement the public bike parking strategy, including secure and unsecure bike parking

• Conduct parking studies and parking data collection throughout the city related to growth and parking trends

• Improve parking facility features such as accessibility and wayfinding


A city that is green and resilient


Ottawa is experiencing warmer, wetter and more unpredictable weather. It’s critical that the City prepares for more extreme weather and continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resiliency. In the second year applying a climate lens, Draft Budget 2024 invests $278 million in climate contributions which is an increase of $226 million from Budget 2023. Investments include $188 million towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, $86 million towards building climate resiliency and $5 million in support of the Climate Change Master Plan. It also includes $21.7 million for the ROPEC Electrical Reliability project, a critical initiative that will build resiliency to power outages expected with increased extreme weather events.


Draft Budget 2024 includes $180 million for zero-emission buses, as well as $63.2 million to protect City facilities, including wastewater treatment, drinking water treatment, energy conservation measures, accessibility upgrades and tree planting programs. More trees will be planted to grow and preserve the tree canopy in neighbourhoods with fewer trees.


The City is also allocating $4.5 million for the evaluation, development and implementation of enhancements to the City’s Solid Waste Master Plan and supporting projects. Additionally, $3 million will be allocated to the Energy Management Investment Strategy to implement energy conservation measures in City facilities.


Recognizing the great need for emergency preparedness, the City is also allocating approximately $3 million for weather preparedness, including a Wet Weather Infrastructure Management Plan and flood plain mapping. Draft Budget 2024 also includes more than $1 million to invest in emergency management at the City, including backup generators for emergency reception lodging, as well as capacity building in the Office of Emergency Management.


A city with a diversified and prosperous economy


The City has a strong, diverse economy that is growing. We boast special districts like Parliament and Confederation Boulevard, Rideau Canal, ByWard Market, Lansdowne, Kanata North and the Ottawa River Islands that are exciting and attractive to both residents and visitors. We’re growing our nightlife economy and we’re supporting new and emerging businesses through Bayview Yards and Invest Ottawa. Draft Budget 2024 aims to further reduce red tape and start-up barriers for small businesses, who contribute to our thriving traditional and commercial main streets.


Draft Budget 2024 will continue to invest in economic growth, diversification and job creation through the development and implementation of an Economic Development Strategy, a Downtown Action Plan and support to Invest Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism, the Ottawa Film Office and the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition to deliver sector specific programming and services. It also includes the implementation of the Nightlife Economy Action Plan and the establishment of the Nightlife Commissioner Office.


Other highlights include:

• $2.6 million for the design of priority ByWard Market Public Realm projects, including the revitalization of William Street, ByWard Market Square and the redevelopment of the 70 Clarence Street municipal parking garage

• $800,000 for annual operating support for the ByWard Market District Authority

• $250,000 for continued funding for Invest Ottawa to deliver enhanced entrepreneur and knowledge-based sector programs

• $65,000 for continued funding for the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition to support development and promotion of live music sector

• $50,000 for continued funding for the Ottawa Film Office to support enhanced production attraction, destination marketing and industry development initiatives such as new soundstage development.


Opportunities for resident feedback


The proposed budget will be considered by all Standing Committees in the coming weeks, then considered and adopted by Council on Wednesday, December 6. Residents have many ways to continue to have a say about Draft Budget 2024:

• Visit Engage Ottawa for an up-to-date list of Councillor-led budget consultation sessions and to ask any budget related questions.

• Register as a public delegation to make a five-minute presentation at a budget review meeting of any standing committee, board or commission. Visit ottawa.ca/budget to learn about meeting dates.

• Follow and communicate with us on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), using the hashtag #OttBudget.

• Call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). Rural residents call 613-580-2400.


Quotes


"Draft Budget 2024 addresses the priorities set out by Council and responds to the concerns of residents. It is about building an affordable, safe, connected and accessible city for everyone. I look forward to the thoughtful discussions ahead and from hearing from residents as we shape this budget."


Mayor Mark Sutcliffe


"This budget supports Council’s commitment to fund ongoing operational needs and is aligned with the Term of Council priorities to continue to build our city – keeping affordability top-of-mind. We’ve worked hard to enhance the budget experience, improve transparency and increase opportunities for engagement by encouraging participation of residents, businesses and community groups in the process. Draft Budget 2024 was a collaborative effort between elected officials, staff, residents and stakeholders, with the ultimate goal of benefitting our entire community, and moving our city forward."


City Manager Wendy Stephanson


For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca, call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) or 613-580-2400 to contact the City using Canada Video Relay Service. You can also connect with us through Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.






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