On Thursday November 21st, The City’s Community and Protective Services Committee considered its portions of the draft budget for 2020, which represents a $1.4-billion total gross operating budget. This includes funding for 14 additional staff for the Ottawa Paramedic Service and two emergency response vehicles plus related equipment to maintain Council-approved response times to increasing call volumes.
The City would continue to invest in long-term care, providing an additional $4.4 million to provide quality and professional services for residents in the City’s long-term care homes. Thanks to provincial funding, the City would also hire four additional Registered Nurses to enhance resident care.
The proposed budget maintains support for community agencies that help residents with the greatest need. The City would invest $24.5 million in the Community Funding program – this includes a two-per-cent inflationary increase worth $475,000 and an additional investment of $100,000 in project funding. There is also an additional $500,000 in one-time funding to support agencies as the City transitions to a new funding framework along with $210,000 to develop a new anti-racism strategy.
The majority of capital spending would go towards, parks, recreation and cultural infrastructure, with $37.7 million earmarked to renew and enhance this infrastructure across Ottawa. An additional $9.7 million would go towards new facilities in growing areas, including a district park near the Jockvale River in Barrhaven, a community centre in Old Ottawa East and a park near Buckles Street in Osgoode.
Other highlights include $81.4 million in child-care subsidies and a freeze in the cost of the EquiPass for low-income residents and the Community Pass for Ontario Disability Support Program recipients.
The City would continue to prioritize thriving communities during this Term of Council. The Committee considered the proposed priorities that fall under its mandate. Efforts under this priority over the next three years include increasing affordable housing, invest in recreation infrastructure and developing a Women and Gender Equity Strategy and a Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.
Other initiatives include investing in major sports, tournament and event facilities to support economic growth and diversification, replacing the system to register, book and pay for recreation and cultural programs and facilities to support service excellence and optimizing arenas to balance user demand with service delivery to support sustainable infrastructure.
Regular items from today’s meeting requiring City Council approval will go to Council on Wednesday, November 27. The Committee’s portion of the draft budget will go to Council on Wednesday, December 11.