Statement by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson following today’s tabling of the Province of Ontario’s 2019 Budget
ʺToday’s provincial budget outlines the Province’s commitment to reducing its deficit, while maintaining key provincial programs and services.
The City of Ottawa is delighted that the Province announced on March 22 its commitment to provide $1.208 billion to build Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT – making it possible for the largest infrastructure project in the City’s history to proceed.
Yesterday’s announcement by the Premier of a $28.5 billion expansion of the City of Toronto’s public transit system complements Ottawa’s Stage 2 Light Rail Transit project. This is a clear indication that upper levels of government are committed to fund the large transformative public transit and infrastructure projects needed for urban renewal and economic development. This is good news as we are preparing for our next phase of LRT to meet the growing demand for transit in Barrhaven, Kanata and Stittsville.
The City of Ottawa remains committed to work with both its provincial and federal counterparts to eliminate chronic homelessness and help ensure everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.
I am pleased to see the announcement of a community housing renewal plan. We will be reviewing the details of this program to better understand how the City, our community partners and the private sector can leverage our collective resources to increase affordable options for our residents. We will be looking for the details, including specific allocation from the National Housing Strategy funding agreed to through the bilateral agreement with the federal government.
I am also pleased to see that the Province has responded to our request to support our police services’ efforts of protecting our residents by providing the Ottawa Police Service with $2 million this year to support our local gang strategy and crime prevention initiatives to combat gun‐ and gang‐related crime in our community. We trust that this amount will be made available to the City of Ottawa over the next four years as was announced for Toronto Police.
I also welcome the announcement of funding for dental care for low-income seniors, and I am pleased to see funding for the design and construction of the Civic Hospital and the Children’s Treatment Centre at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) campus. These are important projects for the residents of Ottawa and for the future of health care in our City.
The City has worked hard on the planning approvals to help ensure the future site of the Civic Hospital is ready for development as soon as is operationally feasible.
Our staff will be looking at the details of today’s Budget over the coming weeks to determine any implications and opportunities for the City of Ottawa and how we can best take advantage of newly-announced programs and measures.”
– Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa