ontario news watch

Ottawa tables 2024 budget, invests in public transit and housing priorities

OTTAWA — The City of Ottawa has released its 2024 draft budget, highlighting a maximum 2.5 per cent property tax hike and $4.6 billion operational portfolio. 

The tax increase meets the 2.5 per cent cap Mayor Mark Sutcliffe promised for his first two budgets — a cap some critics say should be above the rate of inflation.  

But Sutcliffe and other councillors who support the limit say the pressure of inflation is also affecting residents, and a spike in their tax bills would only make things worse.

The proposed budget also includes $31 million more for public transit and a $21.8-million long-term investment in affordable housing. 

Both are pressing issues: OC Transpo is projecting a $35-million fare revenue shortfall in 2024, while the city has only issued 30 per cent of the building permits it was supposed to during the first half of this year.

After public consultations, council will vote Dec. 6 on whether to approve the spending plan. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023. 

The Canadian Press