Last week, City Council approved the 2023 Budget. This budget included an overall tax increase of 2.5%, which equates to an increase for the average urban homeowner of approximately $104 per year, while the average rural homeowner would pay an additional $85 per year.
Investments in this budget include increased funding for affordable housing, a transit fare freeze, free transit for children 12 and under, increased funding for recreational subsidies, as well as a 10% reduction in camp enrollment fees for the 2023 season.
To protect the health and well-being of residents as Ottawa continues to grow, the City will also invest $1.8 million to hire 14 paramedics and to procure emergency vehicles. This budget will also see increased funding for the resurfacing of roads, and increased funding for road safety improvements.
For the first time ever, the 2023 Budget also approved $5M of sustainable funding for the City’s Climate Change Master Plan, supporting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance climate resiliency through initiatives such as Energy Evolution projects, building retrofits and zero-emission buses.
While this budget is a start towards building a healthy and vibrant city, I will continue to advocate on your behalf for needed investments in our transit system, road renewals, active transportation projects, affordable housing, and community safety initiatives, specifically for increased funding for the implementation of an alternative call response model.
I look forward to finding ways to engage with the community as we will soon embark upon the 2024 Budget process.