• Get your (video) game on, Ottawa!

    Ottawa – Ottawa 2017 and Mayor Jim Watson, in collaboration with lead partner CIBC, are excited to launch the Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo, which begins today and runs until Saturday.

    This Ottawa 2017 Signature Event offers residents and visitors an opportunity to test their gaming skills in a fun and interactive environment, while also learning about new and existing locally-based game companies.

    Gamers are invited to join this FREE two-part event:

    • From Monday, November 13 to Friday, November 17, participants have the chance to play the new Super Mario Odyssey in different locations across the city and win prizes from Porter, VIA Rail and Roots. Local gaming companies will also be featured.
    • On Saturday, November 18, participants can compete for a $10,000 prize pool with an open bracket tournament featuring Rocket League and FIFA 18.

    Additionally, on November 18, a special expo will highlight locally-based game companies, as well as international game developers. Participants are invited to come and see what local companies are up to and how important Ottawa’s game development industry is on a global scale. They can meet local talent, developers and publishers, plus get the opportunity to play all kinds of new games!

    Among the participants:

    Fishhead Studios
    Nintendo Canada
    SkyPyre Studios
    Snowed In Studios
    Tulip Crush

    NEW special feature on the Ottawa 2017 App: FLAPPY GOOSE!

    As a nod to the Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo, the team at Bell has designed a uniquely Canadian version of the classic video game Flappy Bird. Users can also check out the new fall filters in the photo booth. To download the free Ottawa 2017 App, powered by Bell, visit: The App Store, Google Play or Ottawa2017.ca.


    “I’m very pleased to have a week of celebrations that showcase the forward-thinking talent and creativity of Ottawa’s technology sector. The Canadian Videogame Competition & Expo is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to get to know these up-and-coming local companies and learn about the impact that they’re having on the gaming industry.”
    –– Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

    “Ontario is an incubator of creativity and innovation. The Canadian Videogame Competition & Expo is part of our commitment to encourage and engage our youth – our future leaders. Ontario150 is supporting efforts to remind us how much we, as Ontarians, have to be proud of living in our incredible province, and all that we can and will accomplish working together.”
    –– The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Sport

    “The Canadian Videogame Competition and Expo is a celebration of our continued success in the technology industry. I included this component as part of the Ottawa 2017 plan to engage youth and young adults, while showcasing Ottawa as a technology city.”
    –– Guy Laflamme, Executive Director and Producer, Ottawa 2017

    Ottawa 2017 is thrilled to present this project as one of its Signature Events and thanks our lead partner CIBC, our premier partner Bell, the Government of Ontario (www.ontario.ca/150 #ontario150) and the Government of Canada (www.canada.ca/150 #canada150) for their contributions.

    To make this dynamic event happen in locations across the city, Ottawa 2017 is collaborating with Swaf Media, Nintendo Canada, Bell, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, Ottawa Tourism, the Government of Ontario and Makerspace North.

    Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences while bringing a record number of visitors to Ottawa in 2017 to celebrate this important milestone for our country.

    Stay informed on plans for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations in the capital. Visit ottawa2017.ca, follow us on Twitter @2017ottawa (#Ottawa2017) and on Facebook.

  • Order of Ottawa inductees and Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching recipient announced for 2017

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson today announced the 17 residents who will be inducted into the Order of Ottawa this year, as well as the 2017 recipient of the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching.

    This year’s Order of Ottawa ceremony will take place at City Hall on November 16.

    Those who will be invested by Mayor Watson into the Order of Ottawa for 2016 are: Steve Barkhouse, Thomas d’Aquino, C, Jane Dobell, Édith Dumont, Safaa Fouda, Claude Gingras, Lawson A.W. Hunter, Guy Laflamme, Dr. Bernard Leduc, Cyril Leeder, Todd Nicholson, Drs Lucy and Rod Rabb, Jozef Straus, William Tupper and Sheila Whyte.

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee was selected as a 2016 Order of Ottawa recipient however was unable to attend this ceremony. He will be honoured at the 2017 ceremony.

    Stephen Dean will be presented with the Brian Kilrea Award for Excellence in Coaching, a City award that recognizes the contribution of an amateur coach who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment.

    The Order of Ottawa recognizes exceptional residents who have made a significant contribution in a professional capacity in many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

    This prestigious civic award was established in 2012 by Mayor Watson and members of City Council. Recipients of the Order of Ottawa are chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist, and the Chief Executive Officer of Library Services.

    For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa and the full biographies of the recipients on the Order of Ottawa section on the Awards and Recognition page on ottawa.ca.


    “The 2017 inductees join an illustrious group of residents who have been recognized and celebrated for having significantly contributed to the City through their professional accomplishments. In addition to making positive change in the city, Order of Ottawa recipients inspire others to do the same.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

    Abridged biographies of recipients

    Steve Barkhouse

    Steve Barkhouse is the Founder and President of Amsted Design-Build, an award-winning design build company that employs over 60 employees and has completed over 1500 projects across the City of Ottawa. Amsted has won several consumer awards and Mr. Barkouse has served on numerous boards and committees including the Algonquin College Board of Governors, as well as the College’s multi-million-dollar fundraising campaign cabinet to build the new Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence. Mr. Barkhouse hires and supports carpentry apprenticeships and acts as a personal mentor to students.

    Amsted Design-Build also supports numerous charities, organizations and initiatives over the past 25 years including CHEO, the Ottawa Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice Care Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Foundation, Roger’s House and the Kanata Blazers Hockey Team.

    Thomas d’Aquino

    An Ottawa resident for over forty years, Mr. d’Aquino continues to serve in leadership positions in the corporate world and in the not-for-profit sector.  After serving as a Special Advisor to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Mr. D’Aquino spent thirty years as the Ottawa-based Chief Executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, now known as the Business Council of Canada.  In recognition of his leadership, he was named a Distinguished Lifetime Member of the Council.

    During this time, he served as a member of the Board of Governors of Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.  He was the Founding Chair of the Heritage Village of Rockcliffe Park Foundation and has been a long-time philanthropic supporter of the National Arts Centre. A Gold and Diamond Jubilee medal recipient, Mr. d’Aquino chairs the North American Forum and is a member of an international advisory group assisting The Vatican with the Sport in the Service of Humanity Initiative led by Pope Francis.

    Jane Dobell

    Education and literacy have been a common theme in Ms. Dobell’s personal and professional life in Ottawa over the past 50+ years.  She is a professional educator, having served both as Director of the Language Programme Branch of the Secretary of State as well as Ottawa Board of Education Trustee and sometime Chair.

    She has been incredibly active in her community where she has previously served on the Rockcliffe Park Village Council and Rockcliffe Park Residents’ Association. She has played a leading role in two separate book fairs which collectively have raised seven-figure profits for the Rockcliffe Park Public School and Ottawa Public Library to support library and literacy programs.  Ms. Dobell has served as a Board member on various educational institutions including Algonquin College, the University of Ottawa, as well as on the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board.

    Édith Dumont

    Édith Dumont, Director of Education for Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO), has spent over 25 years with the organization. She serves as an advocate for the rights of women and linguistic minorities. Ms. Dumont is recognized for her commitment to school communities and today’s youth. Her passion for education makes her an inspiring ambassador and she has spoken around the world. Ms. Dumont has created global innovative partnerships with the likes of the European Union, FC Barcelona and the Cosmodome, in Laval, to benefit her students and broaden their education

    Ms. Dumont has served on several boards including Groupe Média TFO, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Ottawa Network for Education and Centre franco-ontarien de ressources pédagogiques. She has chaired the Conseil ontarien des directrices et directeurs de l’éducation de langue française and is a member of Fédération nationale des conseils scolaires francophones.

    Safaa Fouda                      

    Safaa Fouda is a pioneering female engineer who moved to Canada from Egypt in 1969 and became one of the first female Canadian recipients of a PhD in Engineering. Since 1981, Dr. Fouda worked at CANMET Energy Technology Centre, Natural Resources Canada, developing novel technologies and catalytic processes for transforming natural gas into transportation fuels and chemicals. She retired in 2005 as Deputy Director General for the CANMET.

    Following her work career, Dr. Fouda has devoted herself to philanthropic and community work, especially in helping vulnerable communities and in cross-cultural bridge building, peace-building and Muslim/non-Muslim relations. She served on the board of directors on the Multifaith Housing Initiative and has been involved with a variety of other community groups. Dr. Fouda has received several recognitions including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and Ontario’s “Leading Women Building Communities” award and in 2015, was recognized with the Mayor’s City Builder Award for outstanding volunteerism.

    Claude Gingras

    As the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Trustee of Ginsberg, Gingras & Associates, an Ottawa-based management consulting firm helping clients to overcome business, management and organizational challenges, Claude Gingras has over 30 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of Canadian industry. He has helped make Ginsberg, Gingras & Associates the undisputed leader in the field of bankruptcy trustees by introducing innovative practices and expanding its field of expertise.

    Mr. Gingras has been a leader in Ottawa’s francophone community. He served for 20 years as President, Fondation Franco-Ontarienne and helped protect, preserve and promote Ontario’s Francophone culture. Mr. Gingras chaired and sat on numerous local fundraising campaigns, including the Ottawa General Hospital and La Cité Collégiale.

    Lawson A.W. Hunter

    Lawson Hunter is one of Canada’s best renowned regulatory and government relations counsels. For several years, he was Canada’s senior civil servant responsible for the drafting of the federal Competition Act. From 1993 to 2003, he was a partner of Stikeman Elliott and head of the firm’s Competition/Antitrust Group. He was Executive Vice-President and Chief Corporate Officer of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., responsible for overseeing regulatory, governmental relations and corporate affairs. He has been recognized by organizations such as CD Howe, the University of New Brunswick and by Chambers and Partners.

    Mr. Hunter has been heavily involved in Ottawa’s arts community. He is the current Chair of the Ottawa Art Gallery and has invested in its expansion and growth. In fact, the new third floor gallery at the new OAG will be called the Lawson A.W. Hunter Permanent Collection Gallery. He has also been a key member on fundraising committees for the NAC and Opera Lyra.

    Guy Laflamme

    Guy Laflamme has been producing major events in the Capital for over 25 years with the City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission. Since 2014, he has been Executive Director and Producer of Ottawa 2017, creating over 200 events and experiences to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. His previous successes have included Canada Day Celebrations, Winterlude, Mosaika and the H2K millennium show produced at the Casino Lac Leamy.

    Mr. Laflamme is also a professor with the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management and with the Executive MBA program for 25 years. He has been teaching with the University of Bucharest Business School for over eight years. With his university students, Mr. Laflamme led a humanitarian project “Making Niger Our Business” to deliver half a million dollars in benefits to Niger. Mr. Laflamme was Chair of the United Way campaign for the Outaouais in 2011.

    Dr. Bernard Leduc

    Dr. Bernard Leduc has served as president and Chief Executive Officer of Hôpital Montfort since 2010. Previously, Dr. Leduc served as Chief-of-Staff at Montfort from January 2004 to November, 2009, and has 27 years of experience in family medicine. Dr. Leduc led the hospital through its Accreditation with Exemplary Standing from Accreditation Canada in 2014 and the hospital was named one of the Top 25 Employers of the National Capital Region in February 2015.

    In 2004, Dr. Leduc was awarded the Irwin Bean Award, given to the individual in the group of eligible practitioners who obtained the highest score on the certification examination in family medicine from the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is co-recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for the Family Medicine program at Hôpital Montfort in 2006-2007. In 2010 he was awarded the Ralph E. Giffin Award for his contribution to the Queen’s Executive MBA Ottawa program.

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee

    Grandmaster Tae Eun Lee opened Ottawa’s first Taekwondo School in 1977. Over the past 39 years, he has shaped the lives of over 20,000 students and developed affiliated schools and clubs across the National Capital Region as well as in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Germany, Greece and Hong Kong. Grandmaster Lee founded Taekwondo Canada, and is the only internationally certified Grandmaster with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) in Ottawa.

    Grandmaster Lee is a 9th Degree Black Belt, the highest level attainable, making him both one of the only actively teaching 9th Degree Black Belts in the world. He was instrumental in having WTF Taekwondo recognized as both an official Olympic and Paralympic sport and he has always promoted Canada as the best country in the world in which to live and raise a family.

    (Grandmaster Lee was selected as a 2016 Order of Ottawa recipient, however, was unable to attend this ceremony and is being honoured at the 2017 ceremony.)

    Cyril Leeder

    Cyril Leeder is an accomplished business and community champion in Ottawa. He was one of a small group of leaders who brought the Ottawa Senators back to Ottawa. Mr. Leeder spent close to three decades as President of the organization. His work helped the City land the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend and the 2013 World Women’s Hockey Championship.

    Throughout his career, Mr. Leeder has established partnerships that have directly benefited the community, such as the numerous Sensplexes across the City and the Sens Rink of Dreams at City Hall. In 1998, Mr. Leeder founded the Annual Bell Capital Cup, the world’s largest hockey tournament. His community work has helped the Ottawa Senators Foundation, Algonquin College Sports Management Program, Ottawa Carleton Ice Partnership and the Bell Capital Cup. He coached minor hockey for 11 years and, in 2012, was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.

    Todd Nicholson

    A three-time Paralympic medalist winning gold in 2006, silver in 1998 and bronze in 1994, Todd Nicholson represented Canada on the national and international stages as a member of Canada’s National Sledge Team. He won eight medals at the world sledge hockey championships. He has also competed in a number of other summer sports including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, triathlon, duathlon, marathons and para-skeleton.

    From 2013 until April 2017, he served as Chairman for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council and has been involved planning and administering the Games from 2012 through 2018. Nicholson was named Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. He was inducted to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Mr. Nicholson and his wife now devote their free time and energy to building The Abilities Centre Ottawa, a centre that aims to create a fully inclusive recreational facility for people of all abilities.

    Dr. Lucy Rabb and Dr. Rod Rabb

    Dr. Lucy and Dr. Rod Rabb have been family physicians in the Village of Richmond from 1969 to 2016. They have served thousands of multi-generational patients in the community, making numerous house calls. The Rabbs have provided their services to the Salvation Army Grace General Hospital from 1966 to 1999, and later to the Queensway Carleton Hospital and Ottawa Hospitals.

    They have been a strong driving force behind the Richmond Refugee Relief Fund which sponsored two Vietnamese families during the migration of Vietnamese refugees to Canada in the 1970s, sponsored and provided medical care for Syrian refugees, including Heal the Children Canada, which brought Korean Children to Canada for heart surgery, fostering the children during their stay in Canada. They provided Christmas baskets to shut-ins and nursing home patients during the Christmas season.

    Dr. Lucy Rabb was one of only seven female graduates from the University of Ottawa Medical School in 1965. She became a coroner for the region, covering the area of Rockland to Arnprior for 25 years. She was Chief of Family Medicine for five years at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital and the Grace Hospital. She was also a Sunday School teacher and Sunday School superintendent for many years at the Richmond Presbyterian Church.

    Dr. Rod Rabb served as a volunteer firefighter in Richmond for 39 years, from 1971 to 2010, and was involved as a local Cub Scouts and Scout level leader with Scouts Canada.

    Jozef Straus, PhD

    With a lifetime of extraordinary achievements in technology innovation and business success in the telecommunications industry, Dr. Straus is best known for co-founding JDS Fitel in 1981 and was instrumental in its merger with Uniphase Corporation in 1999. Dr. Straus holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Alberta, Touro College, the University of Ottawa, and Carleton University. He is a current and past board member of various high tech companies and research organizations, including The Ottawa Partnership, the University of Ottawa’s Science Advisory Council and other Ottawa-based organizations.

    He is involved in several charitable organizations and is most proud of his past involvement as Co-Chairman of the successful Ottawa Hospital’s Legacy Campaign.  Over the last several years Jozef Straus has been very much involved in supporting activities at the National Gallery of Canada.

    William M. Tupper, PhD

    A retired businessman, geologist and professor, William ‘Bill” Tupper is a community leader in every sense.  He served as a Councillor in the Township of North Gower, as the first Mayor of Rideau Township and Regional Councillor from 1974 to 1978 and as a Member of the House of Commons from 1984 to 1988.

    Mr. Tupper has immersed himself in the history of Rideau Township, preserving Dickinson House in Manotick, and developing Dickinson Square as a heritage destination.  He was a founding member and Past-President of the Rideau Township Historical Society.  Along with his wife, he published “The Dickinson Men of Manotick”, a book chronicling the family that founded the historical village. He has been a lifelong fundraiser for organizations like the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation, the United Way, the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, and the Association of Former Parliamentarians Education Foundation. Mentoring young people, from Boy Scouts to graduate students has been among his many priorities.

    Sheila Whyte

    Since Sheila Whyte opened Thyme and Again Creative Catering in 1991, the business has grown to include a take-home food and a retail shop and an in-house bakery. Ms. Whyte was a founding member of the advisory board for Savour Ottawa, and sits on the boards of the Culinary Management Advisory Board at Algonquin College, Ottawa Philanthropy Awards, Wellington West BIA, and the Parkdale Food Centre. She has been a champion for the Ottawa Mission Chef Program, is a judge for Gold Medal Plates in Ottawa and a member of the City of Ottawa Food Truck Selection Committee.

    Ms. Whyte has volunteered her time with other community organizations including the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, Ottawa Jazz Festival, Great Canadian Theatre Company, and the Coffee for Community Cause. She is also a founding member of The Royal Ottawa Women for Mental Health Campaign. Ms. Whyte has received numerous awards including the Ottawa Business Woman of the Year Award in 2006.

    Brian Kilrea Award

    Stephen Dean

    Stephen Dean is the driving force behind the success of the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA). He has been serving as President of NCAFA since 2005 and has seen the League expand to include 15 clubs.  Mr. Dean is the President of the Nepean Eagles Football Club since 2000, also having served as coach from 1998 to 2004. Since taking over as President, the club has grown to over 700 participants and coaches in program areas such as tackle, girls touch, flag and cheer.

    He has forged strong ties with the Ottawa Sport and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and the Ottawa REDBLACKS while maintaining relationships well as Football Canada, the Ontario Football Alliance, Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, and local high schools. He has promoted a ‘football helps football’ philosophy and promotes a sustainable and growing vision for Ottawa youth and a strong football future in our Nation’s Capital

  • Rabbi Cantor Daniel Benlolo receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson and Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Rabbi Cantor Daniel Benlolo at City Council today in recognition of his volunteer service, particularly with the Jewish and interfaith communities.

    Rabbi Cantor Benlolo is very active in the community. He has worked as an educator at Talmud Torah and as a Judaic advisor for the Tamir Foundation. He is a frequent visitor to educational institutions to deliver interfaith messages of hope and peace.

    For Rabbi Cantor Benlolo, music is really at the heart of everything he does. He uses music to bring people together. He regularly visits the sick and the elderly and sings for them. He works closely with adults with disabilities, breaking down barriers through song. He founded the Tamir Neshama Choir, comprised entirely of adults with developmental disabilities.

    Rabbi Cantor Benlolo has been recognized for his community work. He is the recipient of the Elaine Rabin Social Services Award, the 2013 Governor General Caring Canadian Award and the 2004 United Way Community Builder Award.

  • Mayor’s Budget 2018 Remarks

    Balanced, Affordable and Progressive: Budget 2018 

    Check against delivery 

    Every fall I look forward to the opportunity to speak to Council and the public regarding their vision for Ottawa’s future and to listen to where residents would like Council to focus our resources.

    Over the last few months, Council has worked with the City Treasurer and the City Manager to deliver a budget that keeps us on a balanced path of fiscal responsibility.

    I am pleased to report that we are bringing forward a budget for 2018 that focuses on securing a sustainable financial framework for the coming years.

    A budget that is balanced, affordable and progressive.

    For the fifth year in a row, the proposed increase in the City of Ottawa property taxes is at two per cent.

    This means that for the average urban household, valued at $404,000, the tax change will be $74.

    For the average rural household, the tax change will be $60.

    Property taxation is the single most important tool our City has to maintain affordability for our residents, and I am proud that Council is delivering on this key commitment.

    It is important to listen to residents through the budget consultation process – and we have built residents’ feedback into the draft 2018 Budget being tabled today.

    Over the last few months, there have been five multi-ward, Councillor-led consultations, as well as four single-ward consultations.

    The City has received budget ideas and feedback from residents, community groups and stakeholders through a variety of ways.

    This includes  the  Councillor-led Budget consultations, the Budget planning tool proposed by Councillor Tim Tierney available on ottawa.ca, and the City’s social media channels.

    As of November 1, there were over one thousand visits to the budget planning tool.

    My office, the City Treasurer and the City Manager’s office have met with every Member of Council and Committee Chairs to hear their budget priorities.

    I have also hosted a series of community breakfasts to hear priorities directly from community leaders and residents.

    It is not always the case, but this year, what we have heard has been clear and consistent.

    Residents understand that the last seven years have seen us focus more heavily on transit infrastructure – which required a massive catch-up effort.

    Today, residents are asking us to shift some of that focus to our social infrastructure and to our other built infrastructure needs.

    What we are hearing – at public meetings or in informal conversations – is the need to continue to do more about the state of our roads, infrastructure, buildings and parks.

    And that the winter maintenance of critical infrastructure, like our roads and sidewalks, must continue to improve.

    The changing weather patterns have created major challenges in maintaining our roads, pathways and community infrastructure.

    The abundance of rain and spring flooding, the extraordinary amount of snow, and the number of freeze-thaw cycles has significantly impacted the quality of our roadways, shoulders, sidewalks and road beds.

    Investing in existing infrastructure is not always the most popular budget approach for Council to take – as politicians we always want to announce something new.

    But I have heard from almost every Member of Council that our roads, facilities and sidewalks need more attention now.

    The infrastructure gap is a significant challenge for municipalities nation-wide.

    In response to these concerns, our total budget contribution for roads, bike lanes, sidewalks and facilities will increase by $12.6 million dollars in 2018, to bring us to $112.4 million in annual funding.

    That’s an increase of 13 per cent.

    Thanks to this increased commitment, we will invest an additional $100 million over the next 8 years for capital works.

    Let me give you a sense of how these additional dollars will be invested.

    First, as I mentioned, we will be responding to the number one request from residents – to put more funding into road resurfacing and renewal.

    In 2018, the road resurfacing budget will be increased by $5.6 million, for a total budget of $39.2 million dollars –  that’s a 17 per cent increase over 2017.

    Secondly, our rural infrastructure investments will reach $42.2 million in 2018, up from the three-year average of $36.8 million dollars.

    This funding includes rural roads and culverts repairs.

    Budget 2018 will allow the City to repair or resurface over 70 kilometres of roads in the rural area.

    Councillor Moffatt will see sections of Rideau Valley South and Fallowfield Road resurfaced while Councillor Darouze will see sections of Stage Coach Road and Van Rens Street repaved.

    In addition, the City will be investing $24.3 million dollars towards bridge rehabilitation in 2018.

    This is an increase from just under $14 million last year.

    This includes projects such as the Fitzroy Harbour Bridge and the Anderson Road Bridge.

    We must also continue to improve our ability to repair potholes.

    Since January 2017, City staff have filled over 253,000 potholes across Ottawa.

    Even with this level of activity, we have heard consistently that we need to do more.

    That is why 2018 budget will make permanent the $400,000 one-time increase in the pothole and minor asphalt repair program introduced in 2017.

    We will add $200,000 in one-time funds to bring the program to $8 million – an 8 per cent increase over 2016.

    This funding will help us deal more effectively with the immediate patching and pothole needs caused by the significant weather fluctuations and increased construction level that have impacted Ottawa.

    We also need to look at innovative ways to improve the condition of our roads.

    That is why I have asked staff to investigate the possibility of running our own asphalt plant in order to ensure quality and price, and to investigate new technologies that may improve the long-term durability of our roadways.

    Ottawa spans more than 90 km from east to west and has one of the largest municipal transportation networks in Canada.

    Maintaining our network is expensive.

    That is why Budget 2018 includes an increase of $2.3 million to the base budget for winter maintenance – bringing the total annual funding to $68.3 million.

    This is in addition to the $4.5-million base budget increase for winter maintenance introduced last year, for a total increase of $11.3 million dollars over the last three years.

    This new base funding meets the level of funding recommended by the independent KPMG audit.

    The winter cycling network will also be expanded, adding O’Connor and Main Street cycling lanes.

    Signs of increased prosperity are all around us as public and private sector investment is booming.

    The Conference Board of Canada has forecast that Ottawa-Gatineau’s real GDP growth will be 2.2 per cent in 2018 following a forecasted 2.5 per cent increase in 2017.

    This is the strongest back-to-back increase since 2007 – 2008.

    But that prosperity is not shared equally by all our residents.

    We need to continue to do more for our most vulnerable residents who rely on our city’s strong network of community-based social services.

    I now want to focus on how we will provide much needed support to the fast growing social infrastructure needs of our city.

    Residents want us to find a way to ensure that both the city and our community partners are ready to respond to the challenges of increasing costs and legislative changes from other levels of government.

    We have heard from community arts, recreation, social and housing service providers who are concerned about budget pressures caused by provincial changes to the minimum wage.

    I am pleased to say that while Budget 2018 will meet the City’s own obligations to address the minimum wage increase, it will also include funding to support our partner agencies, to help them with their increased costs from minimum wage increases.

    We recognize that these service delivery agencies have few options to make up for these funding pressures.

    Without additional resources, they would have little choice but to reduce services while the needs of their clients are growing.

    This is NOT the right time for cuts to our social service agencies.

    For this reason, Budget 2018 will provide an inflationary increase of 3 per cent to our social services agencies.

    This translates into an additional $675,000 in 2018 for a total annual investment of $23.2 million.

    Social service agencies will also see a base budget increase again this year, which, when added to the inflationary increase, will provide a total increase of 4.4 per cent in 2018.

    This represents an annual increase of approximately $1 million for this sector.

    This community funding helps support 93 agencies that run hundreds of essential programs across the entire city.

    There will also be an additional 3 percent or $760,000 going to housing and homelessness agencies, for a total of $26.3 million.

    The City will also be increasing the amount provided for housing programs by $1.7 million to meet the housing sector’s other cost pressures.

    We will also be replacing $1.3 million of funding that lapses with the expiry of federal operating agreements, bringing the total City contribution to $81 million in 2018.

    This is up $3 million from our 2017 Budget of $78 million – a 3.8% increase.

    When combined with funding from upper levels of government, this is a historic investment in housing and homelessness in Ottawa.


    With the rate of inflation currently sitting at 1.5 per cent, this is a significant increase to the base operating dollars of these important service delivery agencies.

    I would like to take a moment to tell you some of the other things we will be doing for housing and homelessness in 2018.

    Thankfully, we do not face the housing and homelessness challenge alone.

    The role of the federal and provincial governments in housing is especially important this year.

    The federal and provincial governments are currently in bilateral negotiations on the social and green infrastructure funds.

    We are also expecting the release of the long-awaited National Housing Strategy and the Federal Anti-Poverty Strategy, within a few weeks.

    These anticipated announcements will be followed by detailed contribution agreements, funding conditions and provincial and national priorities and benchmarks.

    But from what we know today, given the increased support from the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada, the planned capital investment in social housing – including retrofits and construction of new units – will increase from $20.6 million dollars in 2017 to $52.6 million dollars in 2018.

    As a result, the number of new units funded will increase from 137 in 2017 to 300 units in 2018.

    It is impossible to understand the City’s housing funding without drawing the whole picture of how the three levels of government are working together towards the same important goals.

    For the most part, these common goals reinforce and support the City’s commitment to our Ten-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.

    The City and its community partners will only be able to achieve these local goals if we continue to work together with our federal and provincial partners towards shared outcomes.

    By the end of 2017, the City will have 401 new affordable and supportive housing units built or underway, including:

    • In Councillor Harder’s Ward: we opened 455 Via Verona in partnership with Multi-Faith Housing – a 98-unit affordable housing community for families;
    • In Innes, Councillor Mitic’s Ward, we built 1900 St-Joseph Blvd in partnership with Montfort Renaissance, a 48-unit supportive housing program for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.

    In 2018, the City will be investing more towards housing and homelessness, as are the federal and provincial governments.

    But there is more news and progress to come: the City will be ready to leverage upcoming federal and provincial funding opportunities so that we can best meet the needs of our community.

    The City will also see an increase in provincial funding in 2018 through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative, for a total of $37.6 million.

    This funding supports a number of housing and homelessness initiatives for low and moderate income residents at risk of or experiencing homelessness, by providing them with the necessary supports to find and keep their housing.

    The City also received $47 million over four years through the new provincial Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program for repairs and retrofits.

    This funding will improve living conditions, reduce costs through energy conservation, and fight climate change thanks to improvements that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    The City will also benefit from an additional $4.7 million from the federal and provincial governments to develop new affordable and supportive housing that results in a total investment of $72.2 million from 2014 to 2020.

    The City will also receive $7 million from the Federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy in 2018.

    Over the last few years, this program has helped 516 people experiencing long shelter stays, move from emergency shelters into permanent housing with supports.

    The City will also receive $30 million for local capital and operating funding through the recently announced Provincial Home for Good Program.

    This new funding will expand the City’s Housing First Program, provide supports for people living in transitional or supportive housing programs, and will allow for peer support workers as well.

    These additional operating dollars will increase the number of rent supplements and housing allowances available.

    This will also provide funding for first and last month’s rent and unit set-up.

    Both of these can be significant barriers for low income residents seeking shelter.


    Overall, the operational component of this funding will support approximately 310 households to find and keep suitable affordable and supportive housing in Ottawa.

    The capital component of the Home for Good Program will support the construction, renovation or purchase of approximately 150 new supportive housing units in Ottawa.

    This funding is complemented by the Child Care modernization and social assistance reform.

    For example, the City is receiving additional funding through the Provincial Child Care Expansion Plan and the Federal Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Plan.

    In 2017, the City received $13.6 million more than was anticipated to support access to licensed child care.

    This funding will help over 1,400 local children access affordable child care and will significantly reduce – and possibly eliminate – the current child care subsidy waitlist for children ages 0 to 6.

    It is estimated that the City will receive an additional $7.3 million in 2018 as part of this commitment.

    Additionally, the Province announced its intention to transform provincially-funded child and family programs into an integrated, cohesive system of services and supports for children ages 0 to 6 and their parents and caregivers.

    These services include free programs such as playgroups, where parents can attend with their child and have access to information and supports.

    In total, the 2018 provincial funding allocation for Ottawa is $8.4 million for Early Years and Family Centres plus the $7.3 million under the child care expansion programs.

    I believe that by working with stakeholders, this additional funding will allow us to continue to transform Child Care and Early Years services in Ottawa.

    I want to thank Councillor Mark Taylor, our special liaison for housing and homelessness, Councillor Michael Qaqish, our special liaison for refugees, Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, and Jan Harder, Chair of Planning, for their strong advocacy for these additional funds and for their continued diligence to implement these new programs moving forward.

    Budget 2018 will provide a 3 per cent increase to our parks and recreation services agencies. This represents an injection of $ 50,000 to their base budgets.

    We will also be providing an inflationary increase of 3 per cent to the Outdoor Rink program to meet the impact of minimum wage increases.

    This will bring the funding for this program to $825,000 in 2018.

    Affordable child care, housing and transit go hand in hand.

    Towards this end, Members of Council and the Transit Commission listened to the calls for the City to find ways to support residents who face economic challenges through a more affordable and equitable transit fare.

    The 2017 Budget introduced the EquiPass, a transit pass for low-income residents.

    To date, the EquiPass has been purchased by about 2,600 eligible transit customers per month, based on the last three months.

    Thanks to the leadership of Commission Chair Stephen Blais, there is funding in the 2018 Budget to introduce a Single-ride equitable Fare.

    Eligible EquiFare transit customers will get the same deep 50% discount as EquiPass customers.

    This means that a new single ride EquiFare will cost $1.75, compared to the 2018 single fare of $3.45.

    OC Transpo is aiming to make the new EquiFare available before the end of June 2018.

    Together, EquiFare and EquiPass represent the single largest one-time increase in the City’s history to support the needs of transit users living below the low-income cut-off.

    In 2018, the total EquiFare and EquiPass subsidy increases to $3.7 million dollars from $2.7 million dollars.

    The City has also made major investments in improving Para Transpo service in recent years, including the modernization of the minibus fleet.

    In 2018, staff will be reviewing Para Transpo’s service eligibility criteria to bring it in line with industry best practices.

    This will expand eligibility for Para Transpo to include persons with developmental or mental health disabilities.

    As you may remember, Uber has agreed to pay a voluntary seven-cent per-trip surcharge for all completed trips, which commenced in October 2016 when Uber became licensed.

    I have asked staff to work with the City’s Accessibility Unit, and the Accessibility Advisory Committee, and to report back to Committee and Council in the new year with a recommended spending plan for this approximately $450,000 in annual funding.

    We have heard from our rural and suburban Councillors that some residents are finding it hard to commute to work or school because their peak-hour buses are full.

    Budget 2018 does a number of things to expand service to growing communities.

    In collaboration with the Government of Canada, we will be introducing 17 new double-decker buses to meet the growing demand, at a cost of $18.4 million dollars.

    Twenty new routes will start this December, which will lay the foundation for future growth in ridership for the Confederation Line and Stage 2 LRT.

    Kanata, Stittsville, Barrhaven, Riverside South, Ottawa South, Orléans, the new development at Wateridge/Village Riverain, are some of the areas that will see new or improved transit service.

    As a result of this funding and the addition of 17 new buses to OC Transpo’s fleet, various routes will see increases in frequency.

    Some will be extended, capacity will be increased on others, and new connexion routes will be introduced to provide faster travel times for customers.

    Budget 2018 also maintains free Wednesday transit service for seniors.

    Budget 2018 will also see an increase in funding for the Community Support Service agencies who provide transportation in the rural areas, for a total base budget of $605,000 – an increase of $100,000.

    This program – designed to improve access to transportation services for rural seniors and disabled residents – provides approximately 15,000 trips annually to residents.

    Thanks to our rural Councillors Steve Blais, Eli El-Chantiry, George Darouze and Scott Moffatt for advocating for this improvement.

    Because of Council’s steadfast commitment to the Confederation Line and Stage 2 LRT, the City, the province and federal government are investing with confidence in the future of transit in Ottawa.

    As a result of the funding from all three levels of government, Budget 2018 includes more funding to build the largest single environmental project in the City’s history – Stage 2 of LRT.

    The forecasted capital spending on Stage 1 LRT in 2018 is about $550 million – for a total investment of $2.1 billion.

    For every $1 billion dollar invested in new infrastructure, 10,000 person years of employment will be generated in Ottawa, including 5,500 new jobs in the construction sector.

    This high level of capital investment will encourage growth, protect jobs, and improve household and business confidence.

    I also want to thank west end Councillors – including Councillors Taylor, Wilkinson, Hubley, Qadri and El-Chantiry, and Chairs Blais and Egli.

    Their strong advocacy efforts led to an investment of 3 million dollars to fund the Bayshore to Kanata LRT Environmental Assessment, which will be completed in 2019.

    By working together, we have accomplished more in seven short years of LRT planning and construction than we ever dreamed possible.

    In 2018, we will see more and more evidence of this dramatic transformation in how Ottawa residents commute and travel within our vast city.

    But we are not done yet – because we still have work to do to reduce the bottleneck of buses traveling inefficiently between Ottawa and Gatineau.

    In early 2018, we will convene our first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Transportation with the City of Gatineau.

    I look forward to working with my colleagues – Chairs Egli and Blais – to explore opportunities for better regional integration of transit services and large transportation projects.

    Budget 2018 also continues our Council’s strong support for active mobility.

    In 2018, we will spend more than $7 million in cycling infrastructure through the Community Connectivity Program and through investments in paved shoulders.

    I am pleased that Kanata North, represented by Councillor Marianne Wilkinson, will see improvements to Campeau Drive from, Teron Road North to Knudson Drive.

    We will also be adding more than 15 km of cycling facilities across the city.

    This will help us reach our goal of adding 72 km of cycling infrastructure to the City’s growing network by the end of 2018.

    A few of the examples that will be funded in 2018 include:

    • A pathway extension along the west side of Woodroffe Avenue connecting the existing pathways at Norice Street to Algonquin College, the College Square shopping Centre. (Ward 8)
    • An upgraded cycling facility approximately 1km in length which will connect the City’s Sawmill Creek pathway to the NCC pathways along the Rideau Canal and Rideau River. (Ward 11)
    • An improved neighborhood connection that allows Lowertown residents to reach New Edinburgh using the Minto Bridges. (Wards 12, 13)
    • A new pathway linkage to inter-connect the existing Hydro Corridor terminating at Pony Park at Eagleson Road to the Ottawa-Carleton Pathway. (Ward 23)
    • Improved linkages for cyclists around Confederation Line Stations, including a pathway from Albert Street to the lower level of Pimisi station. (Ward 14)

    When combined with funding from other levels of government, the city’s total investment in cycling and pedestrian structures within this Term of Council will hit $80 million dollars.

    This represents a 270% increase over the $27 million dollars spent on active mobility infrastructure in the last Term of Council.

    This $80 million is in addition to the cycling facilities that are built as part of road renewal and new road construction programs.

    One such example is the new Main Street cycle tracks, part of our complete streets plan.

    In 2018, we will continue to improve the walkability of our city, with almost $3 million in funding towards various sidewalk improvement projects across the city.

    This is in on top of the $1.5 million that will be spent to implement the Pedestrian Plan Program, which advances our goal of making Ottawa a world-class pedestrian city all year round.

    I wish to thank the many Councillors, including Transportation Committee Chair Keith Egli and cycling advocates Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Mathieu Fleury, David Chernushenko and Tobi Nussbaum, for their support on this front.

    I would also like to thank Yasir Naqvi, MPP for Ottawa Centre and Catherine McKenna, MP for Ottawa Centre, for their support of the new $21-million-dollar Clegg Street Bridge.

    This new crossing in Councillor Chernushenko’s ward will provide pedestrian and cycling connections between Old Ottawa South, Lansdowne Park and Old Ottawa East.

    There will also be funding for the refurbishment of the Rosemount Library in Councillor Leiper’s ward, and for the purchase of land and design work for a brand new community centre and library in Riverside South, in Councillor Qaqish’s ward.

    Under the leadership of Tim Tierney, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library, Budget 2018 also includes funding to continue the planning and design work underway to deliver our new Central Library.

    Positive discussions are ongoing with the federal government on a potential combined Central Library and Archives Project that could soon become an important landmark along our new LRT network.

    We also heard from residents that access to quality recreational facilities is an important priority for 2018.

    We will be investing more in city recreation and cultural facilities, with an additional $700,000, for a total renewal investment of $16.1 Million in 2018.

    This covers upgrades to our buildings, swimming pools, splash pads, fitness spaces and outdoor courts.

    We will also be adding $250,000 to the park renewal budget, for a total investment of $5.25 million in 2018.

    This funding will lead to improved play structures and equipment and improved park pathway lighting.

    There will also be an additional $2.5 million to improve the accessibility of our parks and playgrounds for all users.

    Councillor Mitic, who is also our Sports Commissioner, has been working hard to have the Blackburn Arena redeveloped and made accessible.

    Budget 2018 includes $1 million dollars for this project and we are working with MP Andrew Leslie and MPP Marie-France Lalonde to secure matching funds from their two levels of government.

    The funding for park renewal is on top of the $7 million for park projects already funded from development charges.

    This funding will see new park development in growth areas such as Riverside-South District Park, and in Gloucester-Southgate, Diamond Jubilee Park (in ward 22) and Hillside Vista Park (in Ward 1).

    We have also identified funding for the City’s own recreational programs to mitigate the impact of minimum wages.

    Without this additional funding, recreation and admissions fees in the City would have increased by 6 per cent.

    With this funding, we will be able to hold the City’s recreation fee increases to 2 per cent for 2018.

    This is after we managed to freeze recreation fees for three years in the last term of Council.

    This increase represents 25 cents on the average swim or public skate admission fee.

    To mitigate the impact of these increases, the Recreation Fee Subsidy Program will also increase to $1.1 million in 2018 – an increase of $35,000.

    This program helps ensure that low income residents can benefit from the City’s recreational programs.

    I am pleased to report that Budget 2018 also heralds some very significant investments in core municipal services that matter most to residents.

    We will hear from our Chair of Ottawa Police Services, Councillor El-Chantiry, that Ottawa Police Services is adding 25 new officers in 2018.

    We will also see an increase of 14 new paramedics in 2018.

    My thanks for the strong advocacy of Councillors Darouze and El-Chantiry on this important new investment.

    We are working to help ensure that these investments in paramedics will lead to improved response times – particularly in our rural and suburban wards.

    There will also be an additional 10 new crossing guards to service areas in need, as identified by the local School Boards.

    This brings the total number of crossing guards in Ottawa to 209 by the fall of 2018.

    We have been proud to partner with our local festivals and arts organizations to make 2017 a year to remember for our residents and millions of visitors.

    There is no doubt that 2017 will have been a tremendous year for our local artists and arts organizations.

    In just a few weeks, we will witness the opening of the new Ottawa Art Gallery, which is approximately three times the size of the existing space.

    In 2018, we will open the redeveloped Arts Court facility, along with the new Black Box Theatre, developed in partnership with the University of Ottawa.

    Budget 2018 includes $2.1 million base dollars to staff and operate the newly expanded Arts Court Facility and Ottawa Art Gallery.

    The OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project represents a public-private investment of over $100 million, and it will quickly become a new regional cultural destination.

    The public sector component, valued at $43.4million is funded by the City of Ottawa, the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and other partners including the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) and the University of Ottawa.

    The City is contributing $17.7 million, the Province of Ontario has provided $7.3 million in funding, the government of Canada has provided $5.3 million through the Canada Cultural Spaces Program.

    Last year we set aside funding to help ensure that 2018 would not become a big “hangover year.”

    I want to thank Councillor Cloutier for chairing last year’s Tourism Summit and for bringing forward several suggestions to ensure that we build on the success of 2017.

    We chose to invest smartly to maintain the momentum of our local arts and cultural organizations into 2018 and beyond.

    That is why I announced $150,000 in base funding to launch the Arts Momentum Fund, aimed at ensuring that we continue to showcase all that Ottawa has to offer.

    After much work and extensive consultation, the arts and heritage community leaders have come together.

    Their recommendation is to use this funding to produce a strategy that will shape the future of the cultural sector for years to come.

    Because of the long-term nature of this goal, I am proposing the same base investment of $150,000 in 2018 towards the Arts Momentum Fund.

    This increases the base funding to $300,000 in 2018.

    I look forward to hearing the recommendations of this coalition of arts leaders in 2018 as they chart a new future for Ottawa’s arts and heritage sector.

    Cultural agencies funded by the City will also receive a 3 per cent inflationary increase, in recognition of the minimum wage pressures in this sector.

    In 2018, the total annual budget for cultural agencies will be $11.3 million, a base increase of $330,000.

    Budget 2018 also continues funding of almost $5 million that has been approved for the Renewed Arts, Heritage and Cultural plan since its inception in 2013.

    These funds include a diverse range of cultural supports, including marketing and promotion of the local cultural scene, the Poet Laureate Program, as well as neighbourhood cultural initiatives, to name just a few.

    In this Term of Council, the arts and culture community has secured municipal investments totalling more than $20.8 million in capital, one-time and base operating dollars.

    This level of investment sets the stage for success for the community-led strategy leading into the next Term of Council.

    Thanks to Councillor Leiper’s leadership, the City has been working with our music industry partners to develop a strategy to strengthen this growing sector of our local economy.

    The group will be delivering its report to Council in early 2018.

    I am pleased to report that we have set aside $100,000 for the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition – to deliver on priorities that will be identified in the Music Strategy.

    One of the key tools Council has to support neighbourhoods in need of investment is Community Improvement Plans.

    I want to commend Councillor Chiarelli for supporting the Bells Corners CIP, which has delivered about $20 million in new investments to date.

    The Orleans CIP, championed by Councillor Monette, is also producing some exciting new businesses and jobs in the East End.

    I am pleased to report that I have been working with Councillor Fleury to ensure that Montreal Road will be the next area to benefit from a Community Improvement Plan.

    Funding in the 2018 Budget will enable us to consult with businesses and property owners to identify what measures would spur investment and bring more businesses to this area.

    Through the leadership of the Chair of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee, David Chernushenko, we have heard the calls to strengthen our investments in environmental sustainability, climate resiliency and energy conservation.

    I am pleased to report that the construction of our world-class LRT system will result in the single largest reduction of air-borne pollutants in our City’s history.

    Stage 1 LRT will reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 94 thousand tonnes by 2031.

    Stage 2 will increase that to over 200 thousand tonnes annually by 2048.

    This will have a direct and positive impact on the sustainability of urban growth in Ottawa.

    And it will lead to improved health outcomes for residents.

    As part of Budget 2018, under the umbrella of the Energy Evolution initiative, the City will be investing more than $2 million in various sustainability initiatives.

    This includes energy conservation, greening our fleet and protecting our environment.

    All of these initiatives will now fall under the mandate of the Environment and Climate Protection Committee.

    Taken together with our investments in public transit, cycling, active mobility and LRT, the City is doing more than ever to improve Ottawa’s environmental sustainability.

    To date, more than 80 community partners such as the City, Hydro Ottawa, Enbridge, Ecology Ottawa, the Museum of Science and Technology and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce have worked together to develop green innovation in Ottawa.

    Later this month, the Environment and Climate Protection Committee will be reviewing the details of the next steps for 2018.

    Energy Evolution also includes $500,000 for Green Fleet initiatives, such as anti-idling, biofuels and hybrid vehicles and $500,000 for new community-based initiatives.

    Under the umbrella of our Energy Evolution leadership, the City’s Building Engineering and Energy Management Team (BEEM Team), has introduced over 120 energy reduction initiatives since it’s inception.

    In 2018, the BEEM group will receive $1 million towards new projects.

    With the conversion of 58,000 streetlights to LED technology, the City is in the process of saving $6 million annually.

    These investments are making tangible changes on the ground.


    The Hintonburg Community Centre, which has had numerous mechanical, control, and lighting upgrades, has reduced electrical use by 38 per cent and gas use by 58 per cent, for an annual savings of $29,000.

    The City has provided Electric Circuit with access to its premises to install six charging stations in Ottawa, including at the Terry Fox and at the Fallowfield Park and Ride facilities in Councillor Wilkinson and Harder’s wards.

    In 2018, twelve new electric vehicle charging stations will be installed at City facilities.

    The City of Ottawa is rich in natural areas – this green space and parkland serves as a draw for residents and visitors.

    In 2018, the City will acquire and protect community greenspace valued at $340,000 in the rural areas and $170,000 in the urban area.

    We recently used $1.5 million from the Environmental Resource Area Acquisition Fund to help acquire and protect important community greenspace like Shea Road Woods in Councillor Qadri’s ward.

    In 2018, we will see 125,000 trees planted across the city to increase forest cover in urban, suburban and rural areas.

    Last week, Ottawa successfully issued the first Municipal Green Debenture in Canada – which raised $102 million dollars.

    The City’s Green Debenture Framework is intended to finance environmentally friendly projects across the City that will help us mitigate or adapt to the effects of climate change such as our Light Rail Transit.

    There was strong demand for this new offering which allowed the City to reduce the price of the debenture – saving $400,000 in interest costs over the life of the bond.

    The debenture by-law report will be considered later today at Council.

    I am very proud of the balance we have achieved today.

    I am also very proud that our strong collaboration with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada is delivering jobs, strong growth and economic confidence for Ottawa residents.

    By working together, we have been able to align mandates to leverage outcomes for residents and to invest in the social and physical infrastructure of our city.

    I want to thank our City Manager, Steve Kanellakos, his office and the entire management team for their hard work and for the countless working meetings on Budget 2018.

    Budget 2018 challenged our very capable General Manager of Corporate Services and City Treasurer Marian Simulik, Deputy Treasurer Isabelle Jasmin, and Brian Flynn Manager of Financial Services, to find the funding for the priorities identified by residents from across the city.

    Thanks to the entire team in Corporate Services for delivering this budget proposal.

    As we prepare for the future – and wait for the details of ongoing bilateral negotiations – we are concentrating on SIX key action items:

    • maintaining an affordable city by meeting our property tax commitment at 2%;
    • increasing our investment in infrastructure renewal, with a strong focus on roads, cycling and pedestrian connections;
    • helping our partner agencies manage their cost pressures, which will help to keep Ottawa affordable for all residents;
    • investing in the renewal of our City’s arts and culture sector, with strategic capital and operating investments;
    • building a green, sustainable future thanks to record investments in environmentally sustainable transit and energy evolution investments;
    • strengthening our commitment to core services with the addition of police and paramedic first-line responders.

    I am very proud that this Council is keeping its commitment to Ottawa residents on property taxes.

    This is the cornerstone of our commitment to keeping Ottawa affordable for our residents.

    I am also proud that we are proposing a balanced, affordable and progressive path forward for 2018.


    I want to thank all Members of Council who contributed ideas to the 2018 Budget process, including many ideas from their residents.

    I also want to thank all the Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Committee members for their input to date, and for the work ahead to facilitate their respective budgets through their committees.

    I would like to close by thanking my own team in the Mayor’s Office for working closely with the City Manager and City Treasurer on Budget 2018, in particular Serge Arpin, Robyn Guest, James Armbruster, Mathieu Gravel, Danielle McGee, Livia Belcea and DG Stringer.

    Budgets have and will continue to be about setting priorities and being prepared for what is to come.

    It’s about being up front with residents, and it requires an honest accounting of where we are at – we simply cannot be all things to all people.

    It’s also about setting priorities – and I believe that Budget 2018 balances those key priorities in a manner that will broadly secure our residents’ support:

    Balanced, affordable and progressive.

    This is a budget we can be proud of.

    I am looking forward to your input and the public’s input in the weeks ahead.

    Thank you.


  • City Manager’s update on Long-Term Care

    The purpose of this memorandum is to provide an update to the Mayor and Members of Council of the work underway to address recent incidents in the City’s four Long-Term Care Homes. It will also provide an update on the appointment of the lead for the independent third-party review of Long-Term Care operations, the approval of the City’s compliance plans by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the stakeholder engagement activities that have been undertaken to date.

    Third-Party Review

    The City has engaged Mr. Greg Fougère to complete the third party, independent review. For over 30 years, Mr. Fougère has been involved in seniors’ initiatives at the local and provincial levels, working in areas such as long-term care policy, planning, funding and legislative compliance. During this time, he has earned numerous awards and honors for his accomplishments. Mr. Fougère has a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Ottawa and is a Certified Health Executive (CHE) with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Mr. Fougère was the CEO of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre for 17 years.  Mr. Fougère’s extensive knowledge of long-term care and his successful career in Ottawa will be invaluable to this review.

    The independent, third-party review will begin on November 1, 2017 with a final report completed no later than Q1 of 2018.

    The scope of the review includes a thorough review of data, documents and files associated with the operations of the homes and of the incidents, as well as interviews with key stakeholders; an analysis of factors contributing to recent incidents; and, the identification of actionable measures, in the form of recommendations aimed at preventing abuse (physical, verbal, emotional and sexual) or the failure to report going forward.

    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Compliance Plans

    Compliance plans were submitted to the MOHLTC on September 15th, 2017.  On October 26th, 2017, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care informed staff that the Compliance Plans (Attached) have been approved.

    The approved plans will be posted in the Homes and shared with stakeholders. The work is well underway with each of the four Homes having established inter-disciplinary workgroups to implement the actions in the compliance plans.

    Stakeholder Engagement

    A robust Stakeholder Engagement strategy led by the City is almost complete.  This engagement is intended to respond to questions, provide information on the work that is underway and to obtain feedback on what works well and where the Homes can improve in the areas of care, safety and services.  The stakeholder engagement included:

    • Thirteen (13) family, friend and volunteer sessions in the Homes during September and October, held during the day, evening and weekend. Over 220 participants attended the sessions across the four Homes with over 90% of participants having indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the sessions.
    • Engagement sessions for Long-Term Care Residents were held during the October Residents’ Council meetings at each Home.
    • Multiple facilitated sessions are underway with Long-Term Care staff at each Home.
    • Online and paper surveys for all stakeholders continue to be available until November 1st, to date, over 400 surveys have been shared.

    The analysis of the concerns, feedback and suggestions stemming from the stakeholder engagement strategies has begun and may result in the development of further actions. A communication strategy to keep stakeholders informed of ongoing work will be finalized by mid-November.

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Janice Burelle at extension 44239.

    Original signed by
    Steve Kanellakos
    City Manager

  • My letter to Premier Couillard regarding the government of Québec ‘s recent decision to move forward and pass Bill 62 into law

    Honourable Philippe Couillard
    Premier of Québec



    I am writing to express my dismay at your government’s recent decision to move forward and pass Bill 62 into law. This regressive legislation is an infringement of the fundamental Charter Right of freedom of individuals to express their religion in the manner they choose and discriminates against women who chose to express that freedom.

    Residents of the City of Ottawa interact regularly with government services in the City of Gatineau and I am saddened that, in doing so, they will not enjoy the same freedoms as they do in Ottawa.

    I trust you have no expectation that the City of Ottawa’s bus drivers, who also serve residents of the City of Gatineau, will take any steps to enforce this legislation and, to be abundantly clear, they will be instructed not to. The City of Ottawa will not be a party to this infringement of constitutional freedoms.

    I sincerely hope that, with the opportunity for reflection, your government will abandon what can only be described as a thinly-veiled appeal to populist sentiment, in light of the divisive effects of similar efforts to which we have been witness of late.


    Jim Watson
    City of Ottawa

  • Ibrahim Musa receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, with councillors Catherine McKenney, Mathieu Fleury, Michael Qaqish and Marianne Wilkinson, presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Ibrahim Musa today at City Council in recognition of his volunteer work and efforts to empower and inspire young people in Ottawa.

    Ibrahim Musa is the Communications and Engagement Coordinator with Youth Ottawa, a not-for-profit charity founded in 1997 that envisions a city where youth drive positive change. Youth Ottawa was spearheaded by Max Keeping to take his advocacy for children and youth to the next level. The charity provides youth across Ottawa with the resources, training and support to develop the skills, confidence and strategies necessary to build a better community for themselves and their peers. Ibrahim is recognized for his belief that every moment spent with youth is an opportunity to empower and inspire them, and for living by that principle in his day-to-day life.

    Ibrahim arrived in Canada as a refugee from Iraq in 2002 and has lived in Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) ever since. He is an OCH Tenant Ambassador and a volunteer with the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee (OYEC) where he works to increase youth engagement in decision making within the City of Ottawa. OYEC helps to encourage youth engagement and to amplify youth voices and representation at the City of Ottawa.

    Ibrahim is the founder and Executive Director of the Cuts for Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free haircuts for children of low-income families in the Ottawa community. He is currently a student of Political Sciences at the University of Ottawa and uses the opportunity to take what he learns in the classroom into the real world, every day.

    He is passionate about national socio-economic issues affecting low-income youth and families, which inspired him to initiate Cuts for Kids in 2015. Since its inception, Ibrahim has managed a team of eight dedicated volunteers. He has mobilized community members, local barbershops, hair salons and even lawyers who attend his events and provide pro bono advice and assistance. Ibrahim inspires youth to pursue and achieve their goals and Cuts for Kids is meant to help youth look and feel good about themselves. In August 2017, the Cuts for Kids Foundation received Agent Status with Youth Ottawa and officially become a charity. All Cuts for Kids fundraising efforts go directly towards the program to help more children around the City of Ottawa.


  • Mayor Watson announces the completion of 30 new community gardens

    Ottawa — Today at the Agri 150 experience Good Food Celebration hosted at Just Food Farm, Mayor Jim Watson announced the completion of 30 new community gardens. This milestone was reached a year early and surpassed the original goal of building 20 new community gardens by 2018.

    In 2014, Mayor Watson committed to making the nation’s capital even greener and more sustainable by adding $15,000 a year in additional funding for the Community Garden Development Fund. The City of Ottawa has had a community garden action plan since 2004. The program, which is called the Community Gardening Network, is administered by Just Food Ottawa.

    Just Food receives $47,000 from the City of Ottawa annually for core operational costs for the Community Gardening Network program, and $95,000 for the Community Garden Development Fund, which directly funds new and expansion community garden projects in almost every Ward.

    The additional funding has helped Just Food support the development of 30 new community gardens, and helped expand 4 existing community gardens. This brings Ottawa’s Community Gardening Network to a total of 94 community gardens across the city.

    “Community gardening is a valuable community activity that contributes to civic participation, neighbourhood revitalization, environmental awareness and healthier lifestyles,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I am pleased that the additional funding has allowed Ottawa’s community garden network to grow so much, leaving a lasting green legacy for all to enjoy.”

    “We are extremely thankful for the City’s continued and strengthened investment into community gardens,” said Moe Garahan, Executive Director of Just Food. “Thousands of dedicated Ottawa residents join in our 20th anniversary celebrations this year, having planned, organized, led, and maintained both household and shared garden plots over two decades, to create places where both good food and community continue to grow.”

  • Ottawa launches Canada’s first on-street test of an Autonomous Vehicle

    Ottawa – Ottawa is the first Canadian city to launch testing of an on-street autonomous vehicle (AV) communicating with live City infrastructure. Until now, testing of AVs in Canada has been done in closed, segregated areas. By partnering with BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC), Ottawa now has the facilities and technology to further the advancement of driverless car testing on active public streets.

    Mayor Jim Watson celebrated this milestone with partners from BlackBerry QNX, Invest Ottawa, and the Kanata North Business Association as the car took its first spin around the Kanata North Technology Park. At the live demonstration, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX, rode in BlackBerry’s autonomous drive concept car. During the ride, the car stopped at a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing, allowing people to cross the road.

    The test area, which loops around the Kanata North Technology Park, is equipped with the latest technology from BlackBerry QNX, along with Codha Wireless, Luxcom and NovAtel. The City’s Traffic Services have optimized the infrastructure within the test route area for communication with autonomous vehicles via Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) transmitters at the traffic lights, re-painted street lines in the test area, and accelerated installation of controllable LED street lights.

    The City and BlackBerry QNX are working collaboratively with organizations such as Invest Ottawa and the Kanata North Business Association, as well as researchers and academics at Algonquin College, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa to further establish Ottawa as Canada’s AV capital. Together, these industry leaders will bring the emerging connected car and AV technologies, products, services and applications developed in Ottawa to the global market.

    This milestone in AV testing brings Ottawa a step closer to its vision of being a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles, a highly competitive designation that will allow further advancement of driverless car testing. The City and Ottawa’s technology community are committed to working together to ensure that the testbed is continually being updated with leading-edge technology. In the next phase, Nokia will be joining the testbed to add LTE and 5G capability to the route, based on their experience deploying connected car solutions in Germany and elsewhere.


    “Ottawa has established itself as an innovative and smart city, is home to a diverse technology hub, and has the expertise, new technology and talent needed to spark autonomous vehicle innovation. With support from BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center and by working closely with all our partners, we are facilitating smart initiatives and research, and fueling innovation and job creation in Ottawa.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa


    “Thanks to the City of Ottawa, our AVIC was able to help establish a functional, real-life test route for our autonomous vehicle concept car, which will benefit our growing ecosystem of customers, partners and developers. Anybody who has driven in Ottawa in February knows that no matter who is behind the wheel, driving isn’t easy when it comes to ice, sleet and snow. We believe these conditions coupled with the City’s commitment to supporting research and development from BlackBerry and its partners, makes Ottawa a fantastic place to advance autonomous vehicle technology.”
    John Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Blackberry QNX


    “Ottawa is a global leader in autonomous vehicles and related technologies, leveraging decades of innovation and industry leadership in information and communications technologies (ICT), next-generation networks, wireless, and related hardware and software. Our region has the expertise and capabilities required to develop, commercialize, and adopt new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solutions. These technologies can be integrated into global supply chains and sold around the world.  This new testbed adds critical capability to our ecosystem, enabling innovators to test and commercialize these AV technologies.”
    Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards


    “We are very proud that today, Canada’s largest technology park launches Canada’s first on-road autonomous vehicle test route connected to live City infrastructure. With over 40 Autonomous Vehicle technology companies located in the Kanata North Technology Park along the test route itself, and Canada’s largest cluster of advance networking, software, cybersecurity, and IoT expertise for Autonomous Vehicles – the contributions these companies will make to the global advancement of Autonomous Vehicle technology is invaluable.”
    Jenna Sudds, President and Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association


    Quick Facts

    • There are over 70 companies in Ottawa’s autonomous vehicle ecosystem, led by BlackBerry QNX, that are directly contributing their expertise, technology and intelligence to connected cars and autonomous vehicles.
    • The test route is made possible by many partners working together:
      • BlackBerry QNX, a leading developer of mission-critical software that forms the foundation for connected and autonomous vehicles, will use the test route to further advance its software and technology development in this field. BlackBerry QNX’s operating system also powers the traffic management system used by the City’s Traffic Services.
      • NovAtel’s GNSS GPS base station, installed on BlackBerry QNX’s building, and Codha’s DSRC technology, installed in the City traffic lights, can communicate directly with authorized AVs, and enable them to take appropriate action.
      • In-kind contributions and donations of AV technology and systems from other leading industry partners including NovAtel and Codha Wireless.
      • Critical funding and support from the City of Ottawa, Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for the National Capital Region, and the Kanata North Business Association, which is home to Canada’s largest technology park.
    • Ottawa is home to BlackBerry QNX’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center.
    • The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC) was created to advance technology innovation for connected and autonomous vehicles, independently as well as in collaboration with private and public sector organizations and research institutes.
    • Building on the company’s 20 years of experience and leadership in the automotive industry, the centre will germinate new ideas and transform innovative concepts into reality through advanced engineering projects and demonstration vehicles tested on real roads.
    • Carleton Research has recently secured funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP).  As part of the program, which is led by Defense Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science and in partnership with Public Safety Canada, Carleton Research will be given $974,000 over three years for research on securing new connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
    • To help aid the University’s research, BlackBerry QNX has signed a charter with Carleton University to provide technical expertise in the area of automotive software development.


  • Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker receive Mayor’s City Builder Award

    Mayor Jim Watson, with Councillors Marianne Wilkinson and Allan Hubley, recognized Kay Dubie and Liz Tucker’s dedication to the community at today’s City Council meeting by presenting them with the Mayor’s City Builder Award.

    Kay Dubie began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre in The Craft Group as a volunteer knitter and soon became and continues to be the Chair of the Kanata Seniors Craft Group. In this role she coordinates the operations of the group, which includes sponsorship of seniors’ services in the community, notably donating $10,000 to the local Hospice Care Ottawa facility.

    In September 2010, Kay became the Vice-President of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc., a local community association that advocates for seniors’ needs in the community. Part of her role with the Council was to implement an annual seniors’ games program.

    Kay then became President of the Kanata Seniors Council, leading the board through its various operations, Council Cafe, Instructional Computer Training Program, Travel Trips and other services for seniors in the community. Kay is now Past President of the board.

    Kay’s unwavering commitment to the Kanata Seniors Council Inc. and the partnership between the Council and the City of Ottawa is reflected in the quality of services available to seniors in the community.

    Liz Tucker has been a long-time resident of Kanata. She began her volunteer work at the Kanata Seniors Centre as a front desk receptionist where she greeted many friends and neighbours and introduced other seniors to the activities available at the Centre. She quickly expanded her volunteer role to join the Centre’s Special Event Team where she helped to coordinate and implement special events for the members of the Centre. In January 2010, Liz became the Treasurer of the Kanata Seniors Council Inc.

    In addition to her responsibilities as Treasurer, Liz also stepped forward to implement the annual seniors’ games program. The launch of the Far West Fun Fest began in May 2011 and saw 200 seniors participate in over 20 activities in a two-week period. This program is still going strong. Outside of Liz’s involvement with seniors, she is still an active volunteer with the Friends of the Library, Beaverbrook Branch, assisting with fundraising to augment the services available to the community.

Page 1 of 2312345...1020...Last »