My Platform Part II
Taxes - 1st year - 1.5% increase, 2nd year 1% increase, 3rd year 1% increase, 4th year 0% tax increase.
Other candidates are promising no tax increase right out of the gate, that is not possible given the mess Watson has left the city in with the LRT phase 2 still not paid for and a $1.8 billion debt and growing. Plus the tax increases in line with inflation were not at all what was promised. Did your taxes really only go up 2.5%? On paper yes. Then to make up the difference your water bill went up, user fees went up and services were cut. When you add up the value of those three things, add that to your supposed 2.5% increase and you have the real number your taxes went up.
Tourism - It is my belief that tourism in Ottawa is doing well, but no where close to what it could be. We are missing out on millions of dollars being put into our local economy by not maximizing tourism in Ottawa. We need to promote Ottawa as a world class destination as well as encouraging local entrepreneurs to set up tourist related business. B&B's, wineries/vineyards and conventions packaged with overnight deals to keep people in the city spending for an extended period of time are but a couple suggestions.
LRT - I have said many times this was a waste of taxpayer money. Not only locally, but provincially as well. Stopping phase 2 from proceeding is not "hitting the reset button" as Watson claims, but rather hitting the "common sense button". We cannot afford phase 2, the taxpayers of Ottawa have already been bled to death and cannot afford higher taxes to pay for Watsons attempt at leaving a legacy behind in the form of a grown man's Lionel Train set. The province is broke and there are questions as to whether or not they will be able to keep their end the money flowing. The feds despite claims from our mayor, has NOT promised a dime to the project. So that means no matter how much Watson claims no taxes over 2%, the fact is Ottawa taxpayers are the ones who will be on the hook when the bill comes due on phase 2. Maguire’s plan makes no sense either as publicly outlined by those involved in the logistics of the program. The only sensible plan is to re-work phase 2 to something we can afford without taxes going up any more than they have to.