The city unveiled its 2020 Draft Budget on Nov. 6.

For Lowertown, Sandy Hill and Vanier, this budget includes several ward investments I am pleased to see.

It is too early to discuss the nitty-gritty of the budget, as the next month we will be in review, but there are some highlights I would like to share as 2020 Ward investments.

As part of the $49-million renewal project for Montreal Road, there is $13 million allocated for integrated road, sewer and water work along Montreal Road between North River Road and St. Laurent Boulevard – fully funding this major infrastructure project.

There is also funding of $910,000 for structural renewal of St. Patrick Bridge and $700,000 to resurface roads in the ward as well as $570,000 for streetscaping on Rideau and William streets.

For Parks and facilities, Ward 12 will see $1.7 million on renewal projects. Such projects include

$150,000 to resurface tennis courts at Bordeleau Park, $58,000 to replace a roof at Centre D’Accueil Champlain, $84,000 to replace doors at Garry J. Armstrong Long Term Care Centre, $245,000 to repair Genest Outdoor Pool, $100,000 to replace the wading pool deck at Optimiste Park, $72,000 for repairs to soffits and retail units at the Byward Parking Garage and funding for a gazebo at Strathcona Park.

Based on our recent Ward 12 budget consultation, as well as #budgetspeak, I am pleased to say there is funding for housing as well as additional funding for snow clearing – both something many residents have highlighted as a need.

For the city, OC Transpo is proposing a $7.5 million investment for bus service, with an additional 19 new buses in service and $2 million to provide increased Para Transpo service. A fare freeze is also being proposed for the EquiPass, Community Pass and Access Pass.

There is also funding to hire 14 full-time paramedic staff and associated vehicles to address the needs in the city.

Some big-picture requests I would like to see that are not necessarily spelled out in this budget I will be exploring in the next few weeks.

  • Housing funding – The budget allocates $15 million for housing; this is not enough. I would like to see double this number to match what the city spends on sheltering people in motels and shelters this previous year – $30 million.
  • ByWard Market Public Realm Plan
  • Downtown Truck Tunnel Environmental Assessment and National Capital Commission review
  • Mental Health/ additions, city support – My office has had multiple meetings over the course of the year regarding community concerns about those suffering from mental health and addictions and lack of services
  • A Recreation Sports Facility in the core – There is a need for a proper downtown recreation/sport facility

Additional budget requests I have highlighted leading up to this budget are:

  • At-risk youth funding – programming, services, after school programming specifically
  • Rats – Bait money and project funding
  • CCTV for Byward Market and Rideau Street – money needed for a pilot project and engagement
  • STO Downtown Moves – and King Edward traffic calming
  • Tungasuvvingat Inuit – an Inuit-specific, provincial service provider offering more than 20 front-line programs and services – the organization requires funding dollars for housing.