Finance and Economic Development Committee members were briefed today on the progress of construction of the Confederation Line.
City staff provided a project update with respect to key milestones achieved, notably concerning testing and commissioning. Trains are running in test mode from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair stations and have successfully completed tests to confirm end-to-end travel times. East end stations (uOttawa, Lees, Hurdman, Tremblay, St-Laurent, Cyrville, Blair) are nearing completion.
Across the system, fare gates and fare-vending machines are being installed, and testing and commissioning is underway. The City continues to prepare for the opening of the Confederation Line, including completing an emergency training exercise for first responders in the tunnel, simulation of peak period bus-to-rail operations at Hurdman Station and ongoing training of rail operators, maintenance and controller staff.
Committee received the annual report of the French Language Services Advisory Committee. The advisory committee undertook a number of targeted activities through 2017/2018 including assisting Ottawa 2017 with the development of bilingual activities, and working with City services to improve connections with the Francophone community. Notably, the advisory committee worked with Human Resources in an effort to increase the number of bilingual applicants at all levels within the City.
The City provided rebates to 212 eligible charities in the Ottawa area for the 2017 tax year. These rebates amounted to $2.7 million, with a municipal share of $1.6 million.
In 2017, the final year of the Vacancy Rebate Program, the City received 666 applications for property tax rebates for vacant properties. The City has not processed all applications, but staff anticipate the total amount of rebates will be less than in previous years. For the 2016 tax year, the City received 888 applications and provided $19.3 million in tax rebates to eligible properties, with a municipal share of $14.8 million.