Councillor’s Corner: Ottawa’s proposed city budget skimps on core areas

A man running for city council wears a blue shirt and stands next to campaign signs taped to a door.
Kitchissippi ward Councillor Jeff Leiper. File photo by Charlie Senack.

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

Hello, Kitchissippi! I hope you all got the chance to participate in Heart Month events around our ward in February – the Heart Institute is an important part of the Ottawa community and deserves our support. It’s a standing reminder too for all of us to take care of our cardiovascular health year-round! Now let’s dive into ward news for March.

As I write this in February, the draft of the 2023 city budget has been tabled and we are deep into consultation about it. Within the 2.5 per cent cap that Council has imposed on staff for the draft, I’m pleased that the $15 million in capital funding for housing has been preserved and that infrastructure spending will be increased.

I don’t expect the final budget will differ much from the draft, and I echo residents’ frustrations about a lack of new money for transit, housing, social services, and active transportation infrastructure; more money there will have to wait for the 2024 budget. I appreciate everyone’s engagement at the Feb. 15 consultation I held with councillors Menard and Troster and I take all your comments to heart in budget discussion with colleagues and staff. 

In early February, there was a flood at the building at Athlone and Scott owned by Salus which  provided affordable and supportive housing to 42 tenants suffering from mental and substance use challenges. A burst pipe rendered the building uninhabitable, and everyone had to be moved somewhere else until repairs are completed. If any readers are able to support Salus and help get our neighbours back home, please send them a donation via their website and note that your gift is to support flood recovery. 

Looking ahead, I’ve got some ideas for March Break camps and family activities while we await the arrival of spring. Rosemount Public Library is ramping up with Tuesday “babytime” in the mornings and afternoons, Wednesday’s “toddlertime,” teen and tween gaming days, and other events for library lovers of all ages. There’s more information at the OPL website or at Rosemount 613-580-2940.

Just found out as I wrote this, there are still spots open in Dovercourt March break camps. Check out the specialty camps for kids who want to learn something new, theme camps for those who love to see stories come to life, and the youth zone for kids aged 10 to 12 who have outgrown traditional day camps but still want camp excitement. You can register for those on the Dovercourt website or phoning 613-798-8950.  

To stay on top of this kind of thing, sign up for my weekly email newsletter at or call 613-580-2485 to get you signed up.

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