Budget 2021 Virtual Consultation – As we heard it

On Nov. 4 the Mayor will present the City’s 2021 Draft Budget.

Following that presentation, each of the City’s Council Committee will debate their individual budgets throughout November and early December.  Council will debate and approve the 2021 Budget on Dec. 9, 2020.

Ward 12 focused list of Budget Considerations

ByWard Market Public Realm Plan | Plan pour le domaine public du marché By

  • Dedicated Cleaning Team in the Market  
  • Byward Market Building: Property Tax Waiver  

Community Health Needs Plan (Mental Health and Addictions) | Plan des besoins de la communauté en matière de santé (Santé mentale et toxicomanies)

Housing/Homelessness | Logement et sans-abrisme

  • Low Barrier Drop in 24/7 (evenings, weekends, etc.)  
  • Family units  
  • Variety of housing across the City 
  • Inuit Housing  
  • Short Term Rental Regulations  

Youth Programming | Programmation pour les jeunes

  • Creation of recreation spaces

Recreation and Sports Services | Services de loisirs et de sports     

  • Riverain Field House Winterization and Accessibility (Phase 2)  
  • Strathcona Heights Hub 
  • Downtown location for pool
  • Facility Needs Assessment  

Quality of Infrastructure | Qualité de l’infrastructure

  • King Edward Street Configuration  
  • Cycling (Nicholas, Daly, Canal)  
  • Sidewalk infrastructure down grading through repairs 
  • Maintenance Quality Standards  

Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods | Construire de meilleurs quartiers revitalisés 

  • McArthur Avenue revisioning
  • Forestry planting, mapping
  • Working with local partners to create more recreational indoor and outdoor spaces

**including but not limited to

In addition to this list, every year, I host a Budget consultation for our communities of Lowertown, Sandy Hill and Vanier. Although this year was a little different – virtual – I want to thank everyone who came out and offered insight and comments on five specific areas of concentration: Housing, Social Services, City Maintenance Standards, Parks and Recreation and Transit/Active Transportation.

Highlights shared with us from our community budget session


  • More affordable housing is needed, and should be built
  • There should be more support for people during COVID
  • Training/learning is needed (how to manage a home – budgeting, maintenance, etc.)
  • Invest in new housing, not private landlords
  • Transition housing is really important – moving from shelter to housing (challenges with bills etc.)
  • Families in shelters (they are in motels/hotels which adds vulnerability, expensive, doesn’t help with family stability)
  • Make sure affordable housing is available in all areas of the City
  • New developments: how do we ensure that this includes affordable housing?  
  • We need to ensure affordability
  • Allocate more money for the Housing and Homelessness emergency
  • There are specific needs for housing: traditional folks, chronically homeless, supportive housing, those sleeping rough  
  • Empty buildings during COVID (office buildings) – how can these be used for housing?  
  • The City should increase requirements for developers so that City / communities can “get more” benefits. Examples given were about tying performance to projects and contributions. Another one was “air development rights” (which exists in other cities currently).


  • Local community resource centres are doing great work need more resources to do more
  • Need for a Community Health Centre in Vanier 
  • Vanier has the highest used foodbank – We need to invest in our food banks more to help more people
  • COVID has created creative ideas for food banks that could be expanded
  • Homelessness seems like it’s getting worse 
  • There needs to be more improvements for mental health services 
  • Increase investment in social infrastructure 
  • Invest in social services and in programs 


  • Make sure that all our sidewalk are accessible 
  • Decline of maintenance: keeping the public realm clean  
  • Concerns during pandemic are heightened – there is a greater importance to keep a clean environment  
  • Cannot have a blanket approach – some areas require better services  
  • Maintenance Quality Standards Review 
  • Investment in Public Washrooms  
  • Sidewalk de-icing  
  • Potholes, stop doing quick fixes – what are the technology/innovative choices to make it better?
  • More education for recycling, green bin etc.


  • Waste removal from the parks 
  • Overflowing garbage in parks 
  • Better access to gym and soccer field 
  • More community gardens 
  • Promotion of existing spaces – better comms around what exists. This could also help better reporting of issues and can also support more community involvement  
  • Safety of Parks (Lowertown)  
  • Bike Racks @ City Parks. Most parks are accessible by car, but they don’t have bike racks  
  • Need for benches in the parks that are maintained (they need to be in good condition): Sandy Hill, Strathcona, Bordeleau  
  • More outdoor spaces for teenagers, give them more options of things to do
  • City maintain programming to help people maintain balanced life (through COVID)  


  • Invest in protecting cyclists
  • No raising of fares for OC Transpo during a pandemic 
  • Continue investments in cycling  
  • Create better/reliable transit services on Montreal road
  • Invest in Driver and cyclist education 
  • What is going to happen with the 29 unsafe intersections?  
  • Opportunities for all modes of transportation (pick up deliveries, food delivery to a residence)  
  • NCC has a comprehensive survey on Interprovincial Transportation (Ottawa-Gatineau) and how it will meet the needs of a rapidly growing population on both sides of the river.
  • More bike parking  
  • Biking Lanes: protected bike lanes. Easier as a city as well, to not have seasonal changes 
  • Safety for all modes of transpiration can’t be a second thought, and must be continually (not just for final product, during construction, etc.) 
  • King edward truck route; needs a resolution


  • We needed the pandemic to realize the importance of food security 
  • Investment in more public art (murals, installations, etc.) 
  • Internet Services: this is bad downtown. Are upgrades happening? Conduits are being laid, but fiber and broadband are not being added. Working from Home has exposed this. Is this City wide? Or specific to the downtown core?  
  • Stop spending money to encourage people to drive.  
  • Trucks and Hours of operation through the downtown core. Their times have changed. What in the short term can we do to minimize quality of life? 
  • An increase in taxation as it only currently “represents half” of City spending. 
  • The need for City hall to go through “more of a systemic solution”. No real ideas just a broad “fix the system rather than the budget approach”. 
  • Invest in more into “energy evolution” for long-term savings  
  • Cancel line 2 LRT work and shifting investments to “more urgent needs.”


These are a summary of elements raised, they are in order of priority and don’t provide context to funding request.  These are used to bring additional context to priorities we raised and understand emerging needs.

Visit https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/budget to view the City’s draft budget.

Have your Say  We encourage you to attend the specific committee dates to raise area concerns and ideas for City’s investment in 2021. 

(Generally, themes which were raised above apply to Community and Protective Services Committee, Transit Committee, Ottawa Police Services and Transportation Committee here is the relevant days of committees)

Please feel free to email me at mathieu.fleury@ottawa.ca if you would like more information or direction on how to attend committee.

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