Ottawa – The City’s Community Services Committee today recommended Council approve its portions of the Draft Budget for 2023, which represents a $1.3-billion total gross operating budget, and capital investments totaling $61.6 million.
To help people find and retain affordable housing, the City would deliver $8.6 million in housing benefits this year. The City would also help non-profit agencies deliver social services to residents facing the greatest need, with a $1.3-million increase in base funding for the Community Funding Framework, within the overall funding of $28.8 million. Other commitments to community well-being include:
$2.1 million in annual base funding through the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan for community agencies to support racialized youth, prevent gender-based violence against women and girls and improve access to mental health programs.
$1.1 million to staff an integrated, on-the-ground Community Engagement Team that links residents in need to services like housing, food and mental health supports.
$550,000 for alternative mental health and addiction crisis response systems
To help approximately 21,000 of Ottawa's youngest residents access childcare and early learning, the City has reduced childcare fees by an average of 50 per cent and is increasing workforce compensation through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, with $193 million in provincial funding. The draft budget also commits $60.8 million to continue helping approximately 8,500 children by providing childcare fee subsidies to help families with the cost of care. The City would provide support for residents of the City’s long-term care homes by adding resources toward the commitment for staff to deliver four hours of daily personal care per resident, along with $2.2 million to continue response to COVID-19, including personal protective equipment and staff.
The City would provide equal opportunities for recreation and cultural activities across the city by increasing funding for the hand-in-hand program to help low-income families and youth, reducing 2023 summer camp enrollment fees by 10 per cent, and increasing access for families by offering $250,000 in free activities.
The draft budget invests $59 million in capital funding towards parks, recreation and culture, including:
$45 million to renew recreation and cultural facilities and parks across the city
$8.2 million for six new parks
$1.7 million to install permanent generators at prioritized Emergency Reception and Lodging sites to assist residents in the event of a power outages caused by extreme weather events
$1.6 million to remove barriers to accessibility.
Council will consider the Draft Budget on Wednesday, March 1.