Ottawa’s Draft Budget 2023, tabled today at City Council invests in the services residents rely on every day, and key priorities to make Ottawa better. Priority investment areas include:
- Safe and reliable roads, sidewalks and pathways
- Reliable and affordable public transportation
- A cleaner and greener city
- Affordable housing and protection for those most at risk in our community
- Greater equity, inclusion and diversity
Building on the City’s established record of fiscal responsibility, the budget presents a prudent approach to affordability by capping the overall municipal tax increase at 2.5 per cent. Factoring in assessment growth, that increase would deliver $91.9 million in additional funding to address budget pressures and make priority investments. The average urban homeowner would pay an additional $104 per year, while the average rural homeowner would pay an additional $85 per year.
Working together to make our communities better for everyone
Draft Budget 2023 includes $4.55 million for community safety, well-being and social investments, including funding for community agencies in support of Ottawa’s Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, with interventions to support racialized youth, prevent gender-based violence against women and girls and improve community-based access to mental health programs. Funding will also support the integrated, on-the-ground Community Engagement Team that links residents in need to services like housing, food and mental health supports.
A commitment of more than $100 million will help fund replacement or rehabilitation of parks, recreation, cultural and City facilities across all wards. Additionally, through creative partnerships with developers, Ottawa will see more than 25 parks developed in new residential communities across the city.
Draft Budget 2023 builds on the City’s ongoing commitment to road safety with an investment of $31.7 million to support initiatives such as Safer Road Ottawa’s awareness and outreach safety campaigns, temporary traffic-calming measures across the city, low-cost cycling safety improvements, and more automated speed enforcement cameras – especially near school zones.
Investments in new major urban renewal projects are also a priority, and the budget commits $245.9 million citywide to design and construct integrated sewer and road projects. Draft Budget 2023 also invests more than $136 million to renew roads, including paving and resurfacing work, and $7.7 million to renew sidewalks and pathways.
To protect the health and well-being of residents as Ottawa continues to grow, the City will invest $1.8 million to hire 14 paramedics and to procure emergency vehicles. The City will also commit to hiring 29 additional Ottawa Police Service personnel.
The City continues to invest in affordable housing, in line with Ottawa’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. This budget supports the goal of creating more affordable housing options every year, with funding from the capital budget coupled with federal and provincial funding. In addition to those ongoing investments, the budget includes $15 million in new funding for 2023. Taken together, these investments will see work start or continue for more than 1,000 units of affordable and supportive housing in communities across Ottawa.
The City continues to prioritize our environment, protecting our greenspaces, waterways and the air we breathe. This is the first year a climate lens has been applied to all new capital budget requests – the first step towards building a climate change accounting framework to support decision makers. The draft budget introduces an incremental $5-million annual capital commitment to help implement the City’s Climate Change Master Plan, supporting efforts to reduce GHG emissions and enhance climate resiliency through initiatives such as Energy Evolution projects, building retrofits and zero-emission buses.
Providing help to offset household expenses
The budget freezes transit and Para Transpo fares for 2023 to help all customers, residents and households who are coping with the higher cost of living. The cost of the EquiPass for low-income residents and the Community Pass for Ontario Disability Support Program recipients will also remain frozen at 2018 rates.
Additionally, the City proposes an increase in funding for the hand-in-hand program to help low-income families and youth, a 10-per-cent reduction in camp enrollment fees and free recreation and cultural services in areas of need.
Households with young children will benefit from a $193-million commitment to reduce child care fees and support workforce compensation through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system.
Opportunities for resident feedback
The proposed budget will be considered by all Standing Committees in the coming weeks, then adopted by Council on Wednesday, March 1. Residents have multiple ways to have a say about Draft Budget 2023:
- Visit Engage Ottawa for an up-to-date list of Councillor-led budget consultation sessions
- Submit your ideas directly to your Ward Councillor
- Register as a public delegation to make a five-minute presentation at a budget review meeting of any committee, board or commission. Visit ottawa.ca/budget to learn about meeting dates.
- Follow and communicate with us on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #OttBudget
- Call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). Rural residents call 613-580-2400
“Draft Budget 2023 reflects what I have heard from my Council colleagues, residents and businesses over the past year. People and families are concerned about affordability, but they want their municipal government to deliver the services they rely on and to make the necessary investments that will make their city better. The modest tax increase and investments is a big step forward for all of us to work together to realize our shared goal in making Ottawa a place where all residents are proud to call home.”
Mayor Mark Sutcliffe
“We have tabled a draft budget that balances the affordability challenges of our residents with investments that are important to our residents and the quality of life in our community. It reinforces our commitment to deliver frontline services that our residents use every day. It also invests in priorities to ensure our residents can get around our city safely and effectively while also investing in efforts to tackle climate change and preserve our environment. It commits to safety, well-being and better affordability, and it also respects equal opportunities for all residents.”
Interim City Manager Wendy Stephanson