This past April, I put a motion forward with Councillor McKenney to allocate $57 million of the federal gas tax funds to help close the infrastructure renewal gap. Gas taxes are paid by drivers filling up their vehicles. I believe federal gas taxes should be spent repairing our roads and infrastructure. It only makes sense. Up until now, this was not the case. Gas taxes were spent solely on transit. I’m happy to report that City staff are recommending that the $57 million, which I requested be spent on repairing Ottawa’s infrastructure, will be included as part of their budget recommendation to Council. This is a huge win for Ottawa’s drivers and taxpayers, and a significant change to the “business as usual” mindset of Staff and Councillors.
For years, Ottawa’s 2% tax increase and steady as she goes attitude has created a false sense of efficiency at City Hall. In December 2018, Ottawa was recognized for its good governance, imminent completion of LRT, and a new term of Council was just beginning, it was smooth sailing for all.
For those that have seen the movie Titanic, you might recall the scene where the captain and senior officers meet after the ship hits the iceberg and are told no matter what they do, the Titanic will sink..
On Thursday November 14, 2019, Planning Committee approved an Official Plan amendment to give builders in Ottawa greater flexibility in the housing types they construct in new communities. The amendment reduces the minimum number of single-family houses that must be built in new subdivisions, providing more flexibility to developers as they respond to market demands.
I argued against this, because new subdivisions do not have enough parking space, in driveways or parking pads to accommodate more density.
On July 10, 2019, Council had the opportunity to stand up for the residents of our Nations Capital, by revoking the Heritage Permit granted by the previous Council in 2018. Unfortunately, 13 Councillors followed the Mayor’s lead and voted against Councillor Fleury's motion. I am proud to say I voted with Councillor Fleury.
OC Transpo, Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Public Health, Tourism Ottawa, and now our Paramedic Service. Each of these organizations has suddenly found out that provincial funding they counted on won’t materialize as the Provincial Government carries on with its deficit reduction plan.
On Friday November 15, 2019, 57 public delegations attended the Community and Protective Services Committee. City Staff are recommending a range of proposals to tackle problems associated with short and long term rentals in the city. It’s a hot topic. As a member of the Committee, I understand the desire of some owners to rent their properties, but feel neighbourhoods need greater protection from absentee landlords.