Ottawa – City Council today approved the operating and capital budget for 2017, confirmed the bid plan for the 2021 Canada Summer Games and approved the work plan of the Auditor General for 2017.

Budget 2017

Budget 2017 includes total operating spending of $2.9 billion for all City public services, an increase of $68 million from 2016. Capital spending for the year, including tax-supported and water-rate-supported projects, totals $880 million. The 2017 budget includes $18.4 million in efficiency savings, achieved through the recent City reorganization. The property tax increase for 2017 is two per cent.

2021 Canada Summer Games

Council approved a report confirming Ottawa’s bid to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games, including a financial commitment of $10.5 million. As part of this commitment, the City will provide in-kind services and fund capital improvements to recreation and athletic facilities, should the bid be successful. These games, held in the last week of July and first two weeks of August, are the largest multi-sport event in Canada for young athletes and a training ground for Olympic athletes. A community launch to kick off support for the bid will be held at Ottawa City Hall on January 12.

Auditor General’s 2017 work plan

An audit work plan for 2017 was approved by Council. The Auditor General’s tasks for 2017 will include new audits of the Social Housing Registry, Road Services Branch, Security and Emergency Management, Parks and Recreation Department and Environmental Services.

Official Plan Amendment

Council approved an Official Plan Amendment that incorporates new growth projections, extends the City’s planning horizon to 2036 (from 2031) and makes changes to the Official Plan based on two land-use studies, the Employment Land Review and the Land Evaluation and Area Review for Agriculture. The effect of these changes will be to allow development on existing urban lands while protecting agricultural lands from urban encroachment.

Zoning for Canada 150 visitors

Council approved temporary zoning for 10 City properties that will be used as camping sites for visitors to the capital during celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1, 2017. Camping will be allowed at these public sites between June 29 and July 4.

Presto Operating Agreement

Council approved a one-year extension with Metrolinx to complete an agreement for the operation of the Presto smartcard system for OC Transpo. The City requested an extension to allow it to focus on the construction of the O-Train Confederation Line. Metrolinx had already agreed to the one-year extension that would include the same two-per-cent fee the City currently pays to Metrolinx. The City is working towards a new 10-year agreement with Metrolinx.

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