Let's Be Happy it's Budget Time
It's November - the days are getting shorter and colder and that only means it is budget time in the city of Ottawa.
The annual winners and losers report -- the winner is the Mayor of course, blowing his own horn like always. Who are the losers then? Staff that has to implement the plans and do not have a real say, unless the few that do show up during the consultation process and are not afraid of reprisals for speaking up (most are taxpayers and voters too). The other loser is the general public that has to pay more in taxes. They generally do not show up to the consultation process because they believe their voice doesn't really matter as the decisions have already been made.
The promise the mayor made in 2010 ws to cap tax increases at 2 % every year. How about user fees, are they not a form of tax Mr. Mayor? How about free bus rides to the Senators games that we pay through our taxes to a professional football and soccer team and a junior squad that is a semi pro league (it's in the courts now that the junior hockey players want to be paid like professionals)? OC Transpo is increasing bus fares to 2.5 percent, not 2 percent. Why is that? And, while you are giving OC Transpo money for new buses, the Ottawa Police Chief has to keep pushing off important projects, including a new radio system, until next year.
Sooner or later you will be putting the public and the employees who protect them in harm’s way. We also recently gave a developer 9 million dollars in tax breaks. My councillor, an accountant, said that the developer will create jobs for the economy. Yes, that's true, but what about a senior who has no way of increasing his or her revenue, who has to pay for that tax break? Well, my friends - let's be happy because it's budget time!
Its time for Ottawans to read between the lines and speak up about the Mayor's deception and the fallacy of the 2% tax hike. 2018 is a municipal election year in October after all!
Alta Vista Resident and Former Municipal Candidate