• Help bring Canada’s Games to Canada’s capital

    Residents can join in the excitement as Ottawa bids to host the Canada Summer Games in 2021 by registering their support at Ottawa2021.ca. As part of the bid process, the City wants to showcase the strong community support and enthusiasm for hosting the event.

    The Canada Games are this country’s largest multi-sport event for the next generation of national team athletes and represent the pinnacle of interprovincial/territorial sport competition. It would be the biggest sporting event ever hosted in Ottawa.

    In addition to the 4,600 elite Canadian athletes who would compete at the Games, the event would bring an estimated 20,000 visitors to Ottawa, creating more than 1,000 jobs and generating more than $150 million in local economic activity.

    A community celebration held at City Hall today heightened excitement for the City’s bid, with more than 250 residents attending the party hosted by Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Jody Mitic, City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner, Ottawa 2021 Bid Committee Co-chairs Cyril Leeder, President of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, and four-time Olympian Sue Holloway.

    The support shown by the community both online and at community events strengthens the City’s bid, which will be evaluated by the Canada Games Council and scored against other bids from Greater Sudbury, Niagara Region, and a partnership between the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. An announcement of the successful bid is expected at the end of March 2017.

    Quotes

    “Ottawa is the destination of choice for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, and the resulting economic benefits for our community would be significant. The support expressed so far by residents has been phenomenal, and now we need to continue the momentum. We are asking residents to demonstrate their ongoing support by registering online at Ottawa2021.ca to help us bring the Games to Ottawa.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “Hosting the Canada Summer Games would provide Ottawa residents with the chance to experience firsthand national-calibre sporting events where they can cheer on our Canadian athletes and future Olympians. The Games will also provide an opportunity to showcase Ottawa’s own talented athletes and our outstanding facilities.”
    Councillor Jody Mitic, City of Ottawa Sports Commissioner

    Quick Facts:

    • The Canada Summer Games were last held in Sherbrooke, Québec in 2013, where they attracted 16,000 visitors and generated an estimated $165 million in economic impact.
    • Promoting the nation’s capital as an ideal location for major national and international events and conventions is a cornerstone of the City’s economic development plan.
    • The City developed the Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy in partnership with Ottawa Tourism to promote Ottawa as a world-class event hosting destination, create jobs and grow our local economy.
    • The Canada Games rank alongside other major sporting events like the Grey Cup, World Junior Hockey Championship and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) championships.
    • The Games are a two-week long sporting event that would take place in late July and early August of 2021.\

    Website

    ottawa2021.ca

  • Education and the Economy Summit fosters increased collaboration between local government, education and business leaders to promote economic opportunity

    The Education and the Economy Summit, held today at Ottawa City Hall, laid a strong foundation for ongoing collaboration between local school boards, postsecondary institutions, government and private sector partners, NGOs, and students, with the goal of generating more opportunities for students and increasing the long-term prosperity of the city with more start-ups and jobs.

    “The Education and the Economy Summit is only the beginning of the conversation among the key partners from the education and economic sectors,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “This collaborative approach to education makes Ottawa an even more attractive place to receive an education and pursue a career, providing students with greater employment opportunities and the skill-set required in today’s workforce.”

    Close to 250 students and stakeholders attended the one-day Summit, which featured remarks by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Riley Brockington, Chair of the Summit, and Jonathan Lister, VP Americas, Sales Solutions and Canada Country Manager at LinkedIn.

    “The Summit highlighted the commitment of all key partners to provide students with opportunities to develop the skills and experience they need to excel once they enter our local workforce,” said Councillor Brockington. “The result for students will be greater access to training, internships and employment bridging opportunities, and our city will benefit from having an innovative and entrepreneurial workforce.”

    “Our goal is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce,” said Mr. Lister. “With more than 60 per cent of the workforce on LinkedIn, we have a wealth of data insights into national and local labour markets. We are proud to be partnering with the City of Ottawa to encourage further collaboration between employers and educators.”

    During the day, Summit participants attended workshop discussions on topics such as student attraction and retention, work integrated learning, entrepreneurship and pathways to employment.

    Summit workshops were led by notable education and business community leaders, including:

    • Dr. Jaswinder Kaur, Director, India and Emerging Markets, Kivuto Solutions Inc.
    • Scott Bowman, Director, Government Relations, Futurpreneur
    • Ritch Dusome, President and CEO, Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks
    • Kathy McKinley, President and CEO, Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE)
    • Dr. Malcolm Butler, Dean, Faculty of Science, Carleton University
    • David Ritonja, Vice President, Broadband Access Business Unit North America, Nokia Networks
    • Bruce Lazenby, Head of Business Development, Regional Group of Companies
    • Christine Donoghue, Acting President, Public Service Commission of Canada

    The Summit reinforced important components of the City’s economic development strategy for maintaining the growth and resiliency of our local economy:

    • Drawing students and talent to the city from across the country and the globe
    • Keeping talent in Ottawa
    • Attracting business and financial investment

    Nurturing and supporting entrepreneurship and small business

  • Mayor’s inaugural Gala for the Arts raises $75,000 for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project

    Ottawa – The inaugural Mayor’s Gala for the Arts, which was held on Saturday, October 15, in the Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, was a huge success.

    Through generous sponsorship, donations and ticket purchases, the Mayor’s Gala for the Arts raised $75,000. These proceeds will be directed towards the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project.

    “Next year, our rich, vibrant and diverse Arts Community will find a new home in Ottawa’s premier arts hub: the newly expanded and renovated Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court facility,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The Gala’s beneficiaries, the Ottawa Arts Council and the Ottawa Art Gallery, work diligently to grow and support the professional development of our Arts Community. This is why hosting this Gala and supporting the arts is so important: by investing in the arts, we invest in our City.”

    260 guests attended the sold-out Gala and enjoyed memorable performances by internationally acclaimed pianist Angela Hewitt, the Ottawa Symphony, the Aboriginal Experience Dance Troupe and Bear Nation Singers, the Ottawa Dance Directive, Fresh Meat Theatre, The Yips and the upbeat musical group Swing.

    The Ottawa Art Gallery displayed artwork from their extensive collection, and local Arts Court partners ArtEngine, Saw Video and Saw Gallery brought a modern, fresh and technological facet to fashion and visual arts.

    The culinary arts were also proudly showcased. Guests savoured delectable creations from an impressive dinner menu elaborated exclusively for the Gala through collaboration between the chefs of The WhalesboneAtelierBeckta and Thyme and Again.

    “There are many priorities in any municipality but great cities can attest to culture remaining one of the key pillars, and Ottawa is no exception. On behalf of the Ottawa Art Gallery, we thank Mayor Watson for his inspired support of the arts in our city and his leadership on the OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project,” said Alexandra Badzak, Ottawa Art Gallery’s Director & CEO.

    “We are delighted to have had Mayor Watson’s unwavering support for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment,” said Peter Honeywell, Ottawa Arts Council’s Executive Director. “Proceeds from this inaugural Gala will contribute to improving arts spaces that will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors for decades to come.”

    Mayor Watson would like to acknowledge Platinum levels sponsors CF Rideau Centre and the Downtown Rideau BIA and Gold level sponsors Groupe Germain and the Rideau Transit Group, who rose to the occasion and showed not only their support for the arts community, but for the community at large.

    Click here to view photos of the evening.

  • Ottawa’s first trade mission to India generates business opportunities for local companies

    The Ottawa trade mission to India, with Mayor Jim Watson and a delegation of 35 business and industry leaders, generated investments and opportunities in technology, education, film production and tourism. The resulting list of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial agreements between Ottawa companies and their Indian counterparts has an estimated total value of over $80 million.

    The 35 delegates from Ottawa represented technology companies, academic institutions, business and tourism associations, as well as Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency. During stops in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, participants announced a series of agreements for investments and business cooperation in Ottawa, or to expand operations in India. The delegation focused on building trade linkages and attracting investments, which is a significant component of “Partnerships for Innovation”, the City’s economic development strategy.

    “This has been a successful trade mission, generating a dozen investment announcements and partnerships that are helping to build Ottawa’s global reputation and relationships between Ottawa and Indian companies and organizations,” said Mayor Watson. “The announcements included major deals that represent important access to markets and financial resources in India. They are significant for the businesses and organizations involved, and in many cases, they are the first critical steps in forging lasting and prosperous relationships.”

    Participants met with business leaders, decision-makers and government officials and explored a range of business development opportunities with their Indian counterparts in the technology sector and other industries. The delegation also included Ottawa companies with a focus on film production, online education solutions, as well as water and wastewater management, real estate development and legal services.

    Ottawa technology companies that design and manufacture cellular, satellite and fixed wireless systems were well represented on the five-day mission that took place from April 17 to 22, as well as companies with expertise in hardware, software and optics.

    There are more than 1,700 knowledge-based companies in Ottawa with approximately 68,000 employees. This talent pool, with expertise in hardware, software, semiconductor and optics, can motivate partnerships and leverage investment with the ever growing technology sector in India.

    Representatives from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, the Kanata North Business Association and TWU Global Education Academy were also on the trade mission, successfully promoting Ottawa as a leading knowledge and innovation centre in Canada.

    The delegation worked to attract investment and build opportunities in training and research for postsecondary institutions. Mayor Watson also met with representatives from several municipal and state governments.

    Following a successful meeting with the three mayors of New Delhi on Monday, Mayor Watson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the three municipal leaders of Indian’s national capital region to explore collaboration between the City of Ottawa and Delhi’s North, South and East Municipal Corporations in the areas of trade, education, municipal administration and tourism, particularly ahead of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

    Mayor Watson also met with his counterpart in Bangalore, as well as the Minister for Bangalore Development, and the Principal Secretary for IT, Science & Technology, both from the Government of Karnataka. They discussed challenges in municipal administration, the importance of public transit, and opportunities for collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

    During the mission, delegates had an opportunity to participate in major events and receptions in which all delegates were able to network with Indian government officials, decision-makers, and industry and academic leaders. B2B meetings in each destination city were coordinated in partnership with the Canadian High Commission to India’s trade commissioners, the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber and the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

    Mayor Watson and the delegation visited one of the largest Bollywood film production studios in India, Yash Raj Films, where Mayor Watson promoted Ottawa as a prime Bollywood filming location, due to its low cost and beautiful landscapes.

    Highlights of the Ottawa Trade Mission:

    • Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company will collaborate with Golgotias University in India to expand digital textbook resources in India.
    • Kivuto also formed a reseller partnership with Edukinect India, a Microsoft Learning Partner in technical education.
    • National Jewels in India will establish their Canadian Brand in Ottawa with inCa Synergies with an estimated investment that may exceed $250,000.
    • qEW Films Inc, with diverse coverage of markets in Canada, India and UAE, signed a MOU with Anmol Pictures for a co-production aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa.
    • Clearford Water Systems Inc., a provider of unified water management and sanitation systems, commissioned its first Clearford One™ installation in India, valued at approximately $150,000.
    • EION Inc., a wireless technology company in Ottawa, and Adino Telecom Limited in India formed a strategic partnership worth an estimated $50 million during the period of the partnership.
    • SKILLSdox Inc., an online education company with a team of 22 in Ottawa, showcased their media partnership with School of Skill and the Times of India, valued at $30 million.
    • Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, announced a MOU with NASSCOM 10,000 Startups (National Association of Software and Services Companies) in India.
    • The City of Ottawa announced an MOU with Amity University to strengthen its presence in Ottawa and facilitate exploration of Amity University locating a campus here in collaboration with a local partner. During the tour of the Amity campus in New Delhi, Mayor Watson was awarded the Amity Distinguished Leadership Award for his dedication to public service and his efforts to strengthen the Canada-India relationship.
    • Invest Ottawa solidified its relationship with Reliance GENNEXT as the parties agreed to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of their accelerator programs.
  • Ottawa trade mission to India announces agreements in Bangalore

    Ottawa’s trade mission to India was in Bangalore today, the hub of India’s IT industry, where the delegation focused on helping Ottawa companies in the technology sector expand into India. The trade mission also provided opportunities for Indian startups to consider Ottawa as a prime location to make the jump into the North American market.

    Many of the world’s leading companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, Bosch and Cisco, have made Bangalore their home in India, and the city’s well-developed private sector industries are similar to those that are dominant in Ottawa.

    Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NASSCOM 10,000 Startups (National Association of Software and Services Companies) in India, indicating a desire to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of the accelerator programs.

    “Partnering with Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups program gives our ecosystem access to India’s top ICT talent and innovation,” said Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa. “This partnership will bring the best and brightest from Ottawa and Bangalore together to fuel growth and provide Ottawa companies a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in one of the world’s hotspots for innovation.”

    Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company formed a reseller partnership with Edukinect India, a Microsoft Learning Partner in technical education, to increase access to education technology for higher education organizations in India. Schools in India will be able to use Texidium by Kivuto, Canada’s most comprehensive digital textbook eReader platform, through Edukinect to simplify the management of digital course materials.

    “Ottawa is a leading technology and innovation centre in Canada, just as Bangalore is an IT and innovation centre in India, so this is a prime destination for building technology partnerships,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “The agreements reached are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential and future partnerships in the IT sector.”

    Mayor Watson also met with his counterpart in Bangalore, as well as the Minister for Bangalore Development, and the Principal Secretary for IT, Science & Technology, both from the Government of Karnataka. They discussed challenges in municipal administration, the importance of public transit, and opportunities for collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

    Kivuto Solutions – Ottawa:
    “We’re excited to be working with Edukinect at this pivotal moment in time as India embraces the move to digital,” says Richard White, President of Kivuto. “Edukinect has deep relationships, a great reputation and tremendous knowledge of education in India. They will be a fantastic long-term partner for us in India“.

    Edukinect – India:
    “Good tools and good training enhance good teaching,” says Phani Krishna, CEO of Edukinect. “Kivuto shares our commitment to hands-on support. We look forward to helping more schools go digital at every step of the way.”

  • Ottawa trade mission in India announces new partnerships

    Mayor Jim Watson and trade mission delegates announced a series of partnerships during two days of site visits and meetings in New Delhi and Mumbai, as part of the Ottawa trade mission to India.

    Mayor Watson and some delegation members met with the three mayors of Delhi yesterday and discussed opportunities for cooperation, especially in the areas of Smart Cities, technology, education and tourism.

    In Mumbai, the financial epicentre of India and heart of the Bollywood film production industry, qEW Films Inc, a creative productions house for all commercial and communication mediums, with multi-disciplinary expertise and diverse coverage of markets in Canada, India and UAE, signed a MOU with Anmol Pictures to bring together the creative forces of both companies on a co-production aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa. The partnership highlights ways to market Ottawa as a film and television production destination, while providing professional development opportunities for Ottawa crews, and experience with international artists and technicians.

    Mayor Watson and the delegation also visited one of the largest Bollywood film production studios in India, Yash Raj Films, where Mayor Watson promoted Ottawa as a prime Bollywood filming location, due to its low cost and beautiful landscapes.

    “The Ottawa trade mission to India is opening doors and providing important access to key business leaders and decision-makers that is generating investments, partnerships, and a great deal of interest in business development opportunities in Ottawa,” said Mayor Watson. “I am impressed with the business acumen and level of interaction with our Indian counterparts, and with the diligent work of our City representatives and delegation members, who have truly seized this opportunity.”

    EION Inc., a wireless technology company in Ottawa, and Adino Telecom Limited in India announced they were forming a strategic partnership to provide e-governance wireless solutions for smart cities, rural and remote communities in India. EION and Adino will bring world-class wireless technology and best practices to India with the expectation that over 500 jobs will be initiated, worth over $50 million during the period of the mutually beneficial partnership.

    SKILLSdox Inc., an online education company with a team of 22 in Ottawa, showcased their existing business partnership with School of Skill and the Times of India. The signed media investment, which is valued at $30 million, will promote School of Skill to hundreds of millions of people across India through newsprint, radio, digital media and Television.

    Clearford Water Systems Inc., an Ottawa-based provider of unified water management and sanitation systems, announced that it will be commissioning its first Clearford One™ installation a village in the state of Gujarat, India. This demonstration system, valued at approximately $150,000, is an attempt to capture a portion of a significant business opportunity to provide sanitation and water management solutions to rural India.

    Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency, solidified its relationship with Reliance GENNEXT, part of Reliance Industries Limited, a multi-billion dollar Indian conglomerate, as the parties agreed to jointly evaluate and explore opportunities in relation to marketing, promotion and facilitation of growth of their accelerator programs. The partnership is designed to help local companies expand into India and offer Indian startups a springboard into the North American market.

    Members of the delegation have continued on to Bangalore, the hub of India’s IT industry, where its well-developed private sector industries are similar to those that are dominant in Ottawa. Many of the world’s leading companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, Bosch and Cisco, have made Bangalore their home in India.

     qEW Films Inc. – Canada:
    “Saniya Ansari, Producer of qEw Films Inc. is thrilled to announce her partnership with Nina Bains and Michael Baker of Anmol Pictures, on the co-production of The Betel Nut Warriors, to be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Shashanka Ghosh. This project, aiming for a 2017 shoot in Ottawa, brings together the creative forces from both Bollywood and Canada’s Film industries.” (Saniya Ansari, Writer/Producer)

    Anmol Pictures – India:
    “We are excited to develop an international film co-production between India-Canada for 2017. This project will help diversify the cultural landscape of film production in Ottawa,” said Navjot (Nina) Bains, Producer, Anmol Pictures.

     EION Inc. – Ottawa
    “EION is excited about the strategic partnership with Adino to strengthen the relationship towards bringing world class wireless solutions for secure networks and e-governance,” said Kalai Kalaichelvan, President & CEO, EION Inc. “Adino’s existing networks and operations at ground level provides a natural synergy for EION to add value on-the-top and introduce innovative and useful wireless solutions to smart cities, remote and rural communities.”

    Adino Telecom Limited – India:
    “Adino and EION are strengthening their existing relationship since 2004, with strategic partnership that brings the companies to the forefront of providing world class technology infrastructure in the fields of wireless, ITES and secure smart cities. Working with Adino enables one to stay connected and stay ahead.”

    SKILLSdox Inc. – India:
    “Education is going to become a very important part of Canada’s export initiatives now that SKILLSdox has established the largest marketing reach for any online educator,” stated Brad Loiselle, President & CEO of SKILLSdox Inc.

    School of Skill – India:
    “Everyone has the right to quality education and we are opening a world of access to top educators led by Canadian innovation.”

    Clearford Water Systems Inc. – Ottawa:
    “Commissioning of our first system in India is a major milestone for our company,” said Clearford CEO Kevin Loiselle “We believe that an operational site demonstrating the advantages of our technology will be a catalyst to the widespread adoption of the Clearford One system in India.”

  • Ottawa trade mission to India shows early signs of success

    Mayor Jim Watson’s trade mission to India was off to a good start Monday with the announcement of agreements between Canadian and Indian companies during its first day of business in New Delhi. The delegation is focused on building trade linkages and attracting investments which is a significant component of “Partnerships for Innovation”, the City’s economic development strategy.

    One of the highlights of the day was a meeting with the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, where matters of mutual interest including ‘Smart Cities’ were discussed. Mayor Watson also briefed the Chief Minister on the composition and objectives of the trade mission.

    Ottawa’s Kivuto Solutions E-learning company used the opportunity of business development sessions to announce details of a new collaboration with Golgotias University in India, with plans to expand digital textbook resources in India with Texidium Platform, which is in use by many educational institutions across Canada.

    “Investing in India means investing in the future of education. By 2025, India will have 120 million students ready to enter university,” says Richard White, President of Kivuto. “We’re very excited to work with Galgotias University to shape the classrooms of tomorrow.”

    “Texidium is a great fit with our commitment to delivering high quality student education using innovation,” says Suneel Galgotia, Chancellor of Galgotias University. “We take pride in using transformational technology to train transformational leaders.”

    The City of Ottawa announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Amity University to establish its presence in Ottawa and facilitate exploration of Amity University locating a campus here, in collaboration with a local postsecondary institution. Amity University is a private and leading education group in India, with more than 100,000 students in multiple campuses, and more than 100 linkages with universities, laboratories and research centres across the world. The University of Ottawa and Amity University also signed an MOU for a student exchange program starting in 2016.

    “These agreements are significant in terms of building Ottawa’s global reputation, and relationships between Ottawa companies and the vast markets and financial resources that can be accessed in India,” said Mayor Watson. “The announcements are incredibly important to the businesses and organizations involved as they represent significant deals and the first critical steps in developing a lasting and prosperous relationship.”

    National Jewels in India announced it will work with inCa Synergies Ottawa to help them establish their Canadian Brand, ESENCIA JEWELRY in Ottawa. National Jewels will invest in Ottawa to establish their brand and hire local employees to begin their operation in the summer of 2016. The estimated value of this investment may exceed $250,000.

    The day also saw an agreement signed between ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce of India) and Invest Ottawa to facilitate trade development opportunities between India and Ottawa.

    Quote from InCa Synergies – Ottawa:

    “The founders at National Jewels are very professional in their approach and are looking to grow exponentially in Canada. We are pleased to be associated with them,” said Raj Narula, founder and CEO of InCa Synergies.

    Quote from National Jewels – India:

    “InCa Synergies has a very clear vision towards business partnerships that bring economic growth for both countries. We are happy to work along with the company and its experienced founder.”

  • Ottawa’s first trade mission to India poised to make history

    Mayor Jim Watson is set to lead a trade mission to India to attract investment for Ottawa businesses and build opportunities in training, research and tourism. The 35 delegates represent technology companies, academic institutions, business and tourism associations, and Invest Ottawa, the city’s economic development agency.

    The delegation is working to attract investment and build opportunities in training and research for post-secondary institutions. Mayor Watson will meet with government representatives and, along with Ottawa Tourism President & CEO Michael Crockatt, will encourage tourism to Ottawa ahead of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation in 2017. Mayor Watson expects a number of partnerships and agreements to be signed during the mission.

    Ottawa technology companies that design and manufacture cellular, satellite and fixed wireless systems are represented on the five-day mission that takes place from April 17 to 22, as well as companies with expertise in hardware, software and optics.

    Participants will explore business development opportunities with Indian counterparts in the technology sector and other industries. The delegation also includes Ottawa companies with a focus on film production, online education and E-learning solutions, as well as water management, real estate development and legal services. Mayor Watson will also be meeting with some of his counterparts and officials from other levels of government.

    “India is a market that requires a fair degree of relationship building to forge trust and demonstrate serious intent,” said Mayor Watson. “I am pleased with the technologies, services and expertise of participating companies and I am confident this trade mission will help local companies to open doors and establish credibility much faster than venturing into this vast market on their own.”

    More than 1,700 knowledge-based companies in Ottawa deliver cutting-edge technologies and services to the world. They employ over 68,000 people in our community, 35,000 of which operate in the telecom sector alone.

    The talent pool in Ottawa, with expertise in hardware, software and optics can motivate partnerships and leverage investment with the rapidly growing technology sector in India.

    Representatives from the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Algonquin College, the Kanata North Business Association, and TWU Global Education Academy are also on the trade mission to promote Ottawa as a leading knowledge and innovation centre in Canada.

    During the mission, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in major events and receptions in which all delegates will be able to network with Indian decision-makers, government officials, and industry and academic leaders. B2B meetings in each destination city have been organized in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission to India’s trade commissioners.

  • Draft Budget 2015 maintains momentum on key city-building projects

    Ottawa – Ottawa City Council today received and tabled its first draft budget of its term, which seeks to maintain the momentum of significant city-building projects such as light rail transit, Arts Court, and the Bayview Innovation Centre. The draft budget proposes key investments in affordable housing, community facilities and crime prevention, while keeping taxes and user fees affordable.
    “This budget strikes the right balance by keeping life affordable, while continuing to make smart investments in Ottawa’s economy and quality of life,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Signs of momentum are all around us – it’s an exciting time to be in the nation’s capital.”
    The budget holds the line on current spending while keeping tax revenue increases to 1.75 per cent, which translates to a 2 per-cent increase for a residential property. This represents an increase of approximately $67 per year for an urban home assessed at $355,000 and $55 per year for a rural home assessed at $355,000.


    The budget also proposes a reduction of full-time equivalent positions for the fourth consecutive budget, without harming front-line services. Residents would see transit fares and recreation fee increases capped at reasonable levels, while the garbage fee will be frozen for a third consecutive year.


    The budget also includes funding to address the current needs of residents by improving mobility, supporting a new crime prevention strategy and increasing affordable housing to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents.
    “This budget will keep daily business on track and help the City meet its financial obligations to the major projects already underway,” said City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick. “I commend City staff for putting forward a responsible financial plan that will also allow investment in a number of the new initiatives identified in consultation with the Mayor and Councillors.”


    The $689.1 million in tax- and rate-supported capital projects across the City includes $448 million in citywide projects of benefit to all residents and $241 million for ward-specific or cross-ward projects. More than half of the total is allocated to investments in the renewal of road, water and wastewater assets.


    The budget delivers on the following important aspects that make Ottawa a liveable city for all residents and businesses:
    A Caring City

     – Fund a strategy for crime prevention and gang activity.

     – Increase funding for maintenance of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation assets.

     – Enhance and increase funding for the School Crossing Guard Program.

     – Deliver funding for commemoration of the victims of the tragic September 2013 bus-train collision.

     – Involve the City in the renewal of the Ottawa Pride Festival.

    A Sustainable City

     – Support the 2013 Ottawa Cycling Plan, which will see the expansion and improvement of cycling networks and multi-use pathways across the city to make cycling a safe and convenient option for residents

     – Move the Ottawa River Action Plan forward with the construction of the central storage tunnel, putting in place the last elements of funding from federal partners to match investments from the City and Province.

     – Increase funding for tree planting by $125,000 to $1.3M.

    A Prosperous City

     – Modernize Ottawa’s transit system through Light Rail Transit (Stage 1 and Stage 2).

     – Continue the construction of the Confederation Line, the light-rail transit line from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture, which is the backbone of the City’s planned light rail network.

     – Prepare for the transition from construction of the Confederation Line to full operations in 2018.

     – Launch the Western Transitway expansion as the City continues to seek funding for Stage 2 of the Light Rail Transit system that will extend to neighbourhoods in the east, west, and south

    An Affordable City

     – Limit the Rate-Supported Water and Sewer Charge increase to 6 per cent, as approved in the latest Long Range Financial Plan.

     – Freeze the garbage fees for the third consecutive year.

     – Limit the average OC Transpo fare increase to 2.5 per cent, while also providing a $4.2-million investment in new and improved service – including increasing bus routes and approximately 5,700 more Para Transpo trips.

     – Reduce 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) City positions, excluding Ottawa Police Services.

    Since Term of Council Priorities will be finalized after the 2015 budget is adopted, a funding envelope of $5.4 million within the City Manager’s Office budget and $32 million in the capital budgets has been identified to fund newly established strategic initiatives. These envelopes allow for flexibility over the coming year to ensure public funds spent correspond with priorities once they are set by City Council.


    The public will have opportunities to learn more about and comment on the proposed budget by attending any of the four regional budget consultations taking place from Monday, February 9 to Thursday, February 12. Residents are also invited to register as a public delegation to take part in all City Standing Committees, Boards and Commissions, which will meet between Tuesday, February 17 and Thursday, March 5 to consider their 2015 budgets. For full information on the Draft 2015 Budget, visit ottawa.ca/budget2015.


    City Council will consider the recommendations received from all public consultations, Committees of Council and relevant Boards at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, March 11.
  • West Ottawa Board of Trade – Mayor's Breakfast 2015

    Thank you very much, Rosemary / Greg.

    My thanks to the West Ottawa Board of Trade, your Chair, Greg Weatherdon, and your Executive Director, Rosemary Leu, for inviting me to join you this morning.

    It is wonderful to see many familiar faces here today.

    First off, I would like to extend my best wishes for the New Year to all of you and your families.

    I hope the holidays provided opportunities to spend time with friends and family, and re-energize for the year ahead.

    I also wanted to extend my congratulations on your newly amalgamated Board of Trade.

    Bringing together the old West Ottawa Board of Trade and the Greater Nepean Chamber of Commerce will be a great help to businesses that serve the Nepean, Kanata, Goulbourn and West Carleton communities.

    Business organizations like the West Ottawa Board of Trade are tremendously important to our city.

    Right now, our city is looking to diversify our economy, and part of this is lending support to our local businesses and entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

    We know that local business and entrepreneurs are critical to our economy.

    And we want them to succeed.

    As the West Ottawa Board of Trade heads into a new year and a new era for your organization, I encourage you to continue to keep up the great work, and strive to continue to build on this success.

    Speaking of success, 2014 was a busy, yet successful year for the City of Ottawa.

    I was proud to have been re-elected as Mayor of Ottawa, to lead a Council that is a good mix of veteran and new members and who I am looking forward to working with over the next four years.

    One of our first tasks as the new City Council will be the 2015 Budget.

    As was the case over the last four years, we are aiming to continue to bring stability and predictability to the City’s finances.

    I kept my promise not to raise taxes above 2.5 per cent per year over the past four years.

    In fact in 2014 we brought in the lowest tax rate in 7 years.

    And I intend to keep my promise not to raise them above 2.0 per cent per year for the coming four years.

    Some have said these, or any, increases are too much and that a tax freeze or a tax rate cut are better.

    This is easy to say…but not very realistic in practice.

    You would need to cut services or put off key projects for years or even decades.

    Look at the major projects completed or underway in the City:

    – LRT Confederation Line and the expansion of the O-Train

    – Major infrastructure renewal through Ottawa on the Move

    – New fire stations in Stitsville and Barrhaven

    – New recreation facilities like the Minto Recreation Centre – Barrhaven, or the Richcraft Recreation Complex here in Kanata, or a second ice surface at the Goulbourn Recreation Centre.

    With frozen or cut taxes would come choosing which of these not to pursue.

    And while slashed taxes sound good in principle, you can’t ignore the fact that we’re a growing city, with growing needs.

    We are a big city and it is critical that we make the necessary investments in our city’s future while providing services in the present.

    Services like police, fire, paramedics, libraries, parks and many more every day.

    All of these things cost money.

    While you can’t have everything you want, you have to find the right balance.

    And I think we have done a good job at finding this balance.

    We are committed to a reasonable tax rate increase of no more than two per cent per year.

    This will keep us fiscally disciplined, while allowing for the necessary investments in our City’s future.

    The 2015 draft operating and capital budgets will be tabled at a special meeting of City Council on February 4.

    There is plenty of opportunity for residents to participate in the budget process.

    We have launched an online pre-budget public consultation – residents can provide their input by sending an email to budget-2015-at-ottawa-dot-c-a.

    You can also send us your opinions through Twitter by using the hashtag #ottbudget.

    If you would rather give us your input in person, four regional public consultations will take place, with the two of most interest to you here today being:

    – South – Wednesday, February 11, 7 to 9 p.m., Nepean Sportsplex, Hall A, 1701 Woodroffe Avenue, Nepean

    – West – February 10, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic High School in Kanata

    In addition, all Standing Committees of Council, along with the Transit Commission, the Police Services Board, the Library Board, and the Board of Public Health will hold meetings to consider the 2015 draft budget for their respective areas and to listen to public delegations on the budget.

    So, I encourage you to get involved with the budget process, as we work towards Council’s consideration of the final budget recommendations at its meeting on March 11.

    Another thing that I am excited to talk to you about today is the excellent work that is coming out of Invest Ottawa.

    The strides Invest Ottawa has made in three short years are incredible.

    The organization has become such a critical part of our business community that during the recent election campaign I committed to increase funding to the organization by $370,000 each year.

    This increased funding will help Invest Ottawa bring even more significant economic benefits to our city.

    I’m pleased that we have a Kanata businessperson, David Ritonja from Alcaltel as the Chair of the Board.

    Just last week, myself, along with some of my Council colleagues, had the opportunity to visit the Invest Ottawa offices to get a first-hand look at some of the initiatives they’re currently working on.

    While there, we heard about some of Invest Ottawa’s highlights over the past three years:

    – More than 2,250 jobs facilitated

    – More than $213 million in investments attracted by start-up portfolio

    – More than $200 million in investments attracted to Ottawa (including foreign direct investment)

    – Helped more than 260 companies grow globally

    – Welcomed more than 50 visiting foreign delegations to Ottawa.

    The key point is that we at the City need to do everything we can to diversify and strengthen our local economy.

    We will always have a strong public service presence from three levels of government, but the effect of Federal job cuts are very real and it’s up to us to take the initiative to pick up the slack.

    One of the reasons I enjoy speaking to groups like yours is for this very reason.

    Local business is vitally important to our communities and our city as a whole.

    We want – and need – our local businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed.

    And we want the City to be seen as rolling out the red carpet, and not the red tape.

    The success of Invest Ottawa makes me hopeful that we are on our way to achieving this goal.

    Together, we are creating new jobs.

    We are attracting investments.

    We are supporting local business, through mentorship, workshops and partnerships.

    It feels like every week I’m being invited to the opening of a new business, and, very often, these groups have been helped by Invest Ottawa.

    A great example of this is Rumidifier.

    Jeri Rodrigs, from Kanata, had an idea for an eco-friendly humidifier.

    He took that idea to Invest Ottawa who helped him turn it into a business plan.

    And now he manufactures the Rumidifier in Stitsville.

    It has become a great retail success.

    It’s a great “made in Ottawa” story.

    The Rumidifier is now sold at Home Hardware, Costco, and Home Depot among others, and its sales continue to grow.

    When I see products like this and visit these great local businesses, I’m proud of our local economy and reminded that our city possesses the most innovative and talented individuals in the country.

    One of the most exciting projects – and one that involves Invest Ottawa –– is the creation of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards.

    The Centre will be a hub for innovation, collaboration and creativity, helping to support and nurture local start-ups so that they grow and succeed.

    The Centre will also help us create jobs, as well as attract more investment, including foreign investment, to our city.

    The City is appreciative of the funding that the Province of Ontario has committed to this project, as well the support demonstrated by the local business community;

    This includes members of the Centre’s Board of Directors and the Chair, Steve West, President of Nordion from right here in Kanata.

    I look forward to seeing this initiative move forward this year.

    As we continue to grow our economy, we need to ensure that our city and its infrastructure can handle this growth.

    That’s why we have invested a record amount of money in our infrastructure through the Ottawa on the Move project.

    I’m sure here in the city’s west-end, you have seen the evidence of Ottawa on the Move.

    Through this program, we have invested $340 million in road, sidewalk, cycling, sewer and watermain infrastructure.

    This investment has resulted in a lot of construction, which, I understand, can be frustrating at times.

    However, this is the definition of short-term pain for long-term gain.

    We’ve made improvements to:

    – Carling Avenue,

    – Baseline Road,

    – Woodroffe Avenue

    – Richmond Road.

    We’ve renewed roads like:

    – Huntmar Drive

    – Bayshore Drive

    – Eagleson Road

    And we’ve completed a significant number of sidewalk, bridge, cycling and watermain improvements.

    These efforts will help bring our infrastructure and entire transportation system up to the level needed before the opening of the Confederation Line.

    We are making great progress on the Confederation Line – a project that will transform the way people move around our city.

    This is important to our city in so many ways – from an economic standpoint…from a congestion standpoint…from a tourism standpoint.

    I mention tourism here because Ottawa is currently preparing to host one of the most significant events it has ever seen – the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.

    Our Ottawa 2017 Task Force continues to build momentum, ensuring Ottawa will be THE place to be to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

    We expect a 20 per cent increase in tourism in 2017.

    An additional 1.7 million guests will be a huge boost for the hospitality and retail sectors.

    However, Ottawa is much bigger than Parliament Hill, and our vision extends far beyond the downtown core.

    We are planning events for the whole city over the course of the entire year, from large international events to local community-driven celebrations and legacy initiatives that will bring enduring benefit to our communities.

    Our most recent announcement encapsulates all of these.

    I announced in November that Ottawa will host the 2017 Canadian Videogame Awards.

    In addition to the awards gala, which will take place at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, we are planning a videogame competition that will provide an immersive and interactive experience for residents across the city.

    Semi-final and final games will even be broadcast onto the exterior walls of several large buildings across the city.

    I think this is a novel concept that will really appeal to our younger residents.

    This 5-7 day event will bring in more than

    $1 million for the local economy.

    However, it will do much more than that.

    It will show Canadian families that Ottawa is dynamic and youth friendly, and it will showcase Ottawa as a centre of excellence for software development.

    You will hear more announcements like this in the year ahead.

    So, stayed tuned…

    We have consulted with hundreds of organizations and community leaders about the types of activities that will make 2017 the event of a generation.

    We are currently engaged with our federal and provincial partners and the private sector to secure funding and finalizing details on several big announcements.

    As these roll out, I think many residents will opt to take stay-cations in 2017.

    There will just be so much to see and do right here at home.

    With only 23 months to go, now is the time that you should be actively planning how you will leverage 2017 to grow your business and build your community.

    And if your industry has an event that we could bring to Ottawa, let us know.

    Just email ottawa2017@ ottawa-dot-c-a.

    Together, we will invite the world to experience Ottawa like never before and celebrate Canada’s 150th like nowhere else.

    And we will deliver a celebration that brings lasting benefit to our city.

    So, there’s no question that it is an exciting time to live in Ottawa.

    We have a lot to look forward to both this year and in the coming years – the Confederation Line, 2017 celebrations, the Innovation Centre the FIFA Women’s World Cup and increased support for our local businesses and entrepreneurs.

    We are also a growing city, as those of you here in the west end know well.

    With this growth comes the need to provide good, reliable services across the entire city, and, as Mayor, along with my Council colleagues, we are honoured to serve this great community in this exciting time.

    Residents were clear in the election that they want a Council that works well together to find creative solutions to our city’s challenges.

    We have done a good job of this over the past four years, and will continue to do so going forward.

    Let me conclude by thanking you – the men and women of Ottawa’s west end business communities – for the long hours and risk you take each and every day to keep your businesses going, and for employing the hundreds of citizens you do.

    I wish you all the very best in 2015, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

    Thank you.

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