Issues at a Glance
Taxes: Property taxes are growing in Ottawa. The obvious is what you see on your tax bill of 2% per year over the last 8 years. That compounds to over a 17% increase! That’s over 510 Million a year!
Adding to the 17% increase is a tax levy that isn’t so obvious, our skyrocketing debt. Our debt in 2010 was $834 million and it is now over “2.2 Billion”. In 8 short years it has almost tripled. This year alone they borrowed $300 Million! That’s a 10% tax levy that you were not asked permission for or even told about. Also, as a result, we are now paying over $211 million a year to service this debt, that’s 7% of our Budget. If they have tripled our debt in the last 8 years, where will it be in 8 years from now?
Another not so obvious tax increase is all the services that we are still paying for but are no longer receiving.
Services: Our city council have cut many services in order to pay our $211 million a year bill to service the ever increasing debt. Some more obvious services include our garbage collection, our bus services and not increasing the Police budget with the increase in population. The most concerning service to me is that city council have cut the snow plows and are now not going to plow many streets until the snow reaches 7 cm!!! They also will not remove as many snow banks making it very dangerous for pedestrians and children on these streets.
In the 1970’s Ford had a car called the Pinto. It was known to Ford that the car could easily catch fire and kill people with a minor accident.
Ford showed callous disregard for safety and reduced human life to a dollar value by not fixing the problem to save money. This changed how the world viewed and continues to view business ethics.
Asset Management: Our current budget is $70 million a year short on “Critical Infrastructure”, yet we are building non-critical pedestrian bridges and installing items like skylights in sport centres. To make it worse, if it wasn’t for receiving a $22 million surplus, literally, in the last hour of our budget process, the Council would have voted in an additional $8 million cut to Infrastructure! Only 8 councillors were brave enough to stand up and try to stop this. So their plan was to borrow $300 Million for infrastructure on one hand and then cut $8 Million from our budget with the other.
Transit: We have eight corridors of existing railways running through the city. These corridors converge at the VIA station just minutes from downtown. Utilizing the existing heavy rail infrastructure with the new LRT tunnel is a solution that will last for many years.
Youth in the Community: Our community centres, religious centres, cultural groups, sports teams, and many more organizations all make up smaller communities within the neighbourhood. The advantage of partnering with these existing groups is that the infrastructure and mentors are already in place and require little funding from the tax payer to get a great return on investment. A dollar invested in our youth today will come back to us tenfold in the future in Police budgeting.
Guns and Gangs are a growing issue in Ottawa. When I am elected, I will make it my mission to ensure that the youth have somewhere affordable to go with mentors that they can look up to. We must take responsibility for the future and demonstrate that we value them now, and in their future.
Click below to view the Rogers TV Debate for Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale