Council approves guidelines and timeline for 2020 budget

Council approves guidelines and timeline for 2020 budget

Council Update

Council approves guidelines and timeline for 2020 budget

Ottawa – Council today approved guidelines and timelines for the 2020 draft budget, including a three-per-cent overall increase to the municipal tax rate.

The three-per-cent increase would address the financial pressures facing the City, including changes to provincial funding, while maintaining service levels and investing in infrastructure and transit.

The draft budget will include $9.8 million to continue investing in transit infrastructure, including Stage 2 light-rail transit, and to compensate for the loss of anticipated provincial gas tax contributions. The $9.8 million was previously targeted to eliminate the infrastructure gap – the difference between what the City spends and what it needs to spend to maintain infrastructure in good repair. The federal government’s one-time contribution of $57 million will be used over the next three years to address the infrastructure gap and to renew roads, bridges, sidewalks, paths and cycling facilities.

The draft budget for 2020 will be tabled at Council on Wednesday, November 6, followed by public meetings throughout the following weeks, where the Standing Committees of Council, Ottawa Police Services Board, Ottawa Board of Health and Ottawa Public Library Board will consider each portion of the budget and hear from residents. Meeting dates and information on how to make your voice heard will be available on

Council also approved the process to develop the priorities for this Term of Council, which would set the strategic direction for the City over the next four years. Councillors will consult with residents on the draft priorities during ward budget consultations. Council is expected to approve the priorities in December, when it considers and approves Budget 2020.

Council heard today that two new ownership groups have come forward with proposals to operate a professional baseball team at the Ottawa Stadium. Rob Abboud, Rob Lavoie and Fred Saghbini comprise one group seeking to operate a team. The second group is comprised of Regan Katz, on behalf of the Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club, with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment group (OSEG), which operates Lansdowne Park. Other groups may also apply to the City to seek to use the stadium.

Council approved the naming of the Airport Pedestrian Bridge as the Juno Beach Memorial Bridge, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing of Canadians on Juno Beach in the Second World War.

Council also named the terrace at 290 Dupuis Street as Carré de la Francophonie de Vanier, in recognition of Franco-Ontarian Day and as part of the revitalization of Montreal Road that is underway.

Council received a quarterly report on the City’s current financial status. Challenges in the first half of the year, including extreme winter weather and spring flooding, contributed to a tax-supported program deficit of $2.4 million, while rate-supported programs showed a deficit of $8.7 million.The forecast to the end of 2019, is for a $3.5-million surplus for tax-supported programs, and a $1.5-million deficit for rate-supported programs, for an overall surplus of $2 million.

A report approved today by Council will limit the growth of payday-loan establishments. Council approved zoning changes that will require minimum distances between payday-loan establishments to help reduce the number of these businesses and their clustering in areas, such as Montreal Road and Bank Street.

Existing payday-loan businesses will be grandfathered, but if one ceases to operate, the new zoning rules would apply at that location, as long as the next tenant is not another payday-loan business. New payday-loan establishments will be prohibited in the rural area.

Council also approved a municipal licensing regime for payday-loan businesses. In addition to a $550 annual licensing fee, establishments will need to display posters with financial and consumer protection information.

Council today approved a new framework for the Community Funding program. This program invests in non-profits to help Ottawa residents with the greatest needs get equitable access to basic services and sustain Ottawa’s social infrastructure.

Under the new framework, there will be three funding streams that include long-term renewable funding, along with one-time funding to address emerging issues. The changes will take effect in January 2021.

Council approved improvements to the Lead Pipe Replacement Program. Homeowners with lead water pipes that connect to non-lead City pipes will be eligible for a new rebate of up to $1,000, about 20 per cent of the total replacement cost. The City will continue to offer loans for properties where both the private and City portions of the water pipes are made of lead.

As a stop-gap measure, homeowners with confirmed lead levels that exceed Health Canada’s recently updated guideline, or who are awaiting pipe replacement under the program, could get a year’s supply of free water filters to remove lead from their tap water.

Homeowners might have lead water pipes if their home was built before 1955. To have your water tested for lead, call 3-1-1 to make an appointment.

Council approved an additional $500,000 investment in the Britannia Village berm. The berm was effective in protecting Britannia during the 2017 and 2019 floods, but the flood in 2019 was prolonged and there is evidence of leakage due to floodwater. The money will be used to make repairs.

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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