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 (CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY)Thank you for joining us this morning.I always enjoy the opportunity to speak directly to the women and men who are helping drive Ottawa’s economy.And this week is a particularly special one because…On Sunday I returned with a 40 person delegation after a successful 8 day visit to Beijing and Shanghai.Tomorrow is the third anniversary of my election as mayor.And yesterday we tabled our 2014 budget…Bringing in the lowest tax rate in seven years…
[CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY] IntroductionGood morning colleagues.Today I have the pleasure to Table the 2014 Draft Budget for the City of Ottawa.As in preceding years, I want to thank each and every one around this Council Table.
CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY Thank you all for coming. I’ve invited you here today to talk about how our city will grow and the fundamental tool that public transit offers us for intelligent planning. And how – if we are smart – we can use our public transit investments to make sure our transportation system will serve Ottawa as we grow in the years to come. This Council began its term by fundamentally taking the reins on light rail. 
Taxes At the beginning of its term, Council passed a fiscal framework that would limit tax increases to no more than 2.5% annually. It has done better than this target for three consecutive budgets.In the 2014 Budget, Council is aiming to do even better, with a tax increase of no more than 2% – the lowest in seven years.
After decades of indecision and conflict, one thing residents keep telling me is that it is great to finally see Lansdowne moving forward! If you look at the site, you see several cranes up and hundreds of construction workers hard at work. I check in on the project about once a week, whether it is by driving by on my way to an event or visiting my parents who live across the street.