Committee approves steps to review ward boundaries

Committee approves steps to review ward boundaries

06/04/2019 13:30

Today, the Finance and Economic Development Committee approved a staff recommendation to undertake a request for proposals to retain an independent consultant to review the boundaries of Ottawa’s 23 wards. If approved by Council, the review will ensure effective representation of communities across the city, given the growth of Ottawa’s population over the last 15 years – when the last review was completed. If Council also approves the staff recommendations, the outcome of the request for proposals would be brought forward for consideration in the 2020 draft budget. As planned, the two-year ward boundary review process would include broad public consultation and research, followed by a final report with any proposed changes to the ward boundaries in time for the next municipal elections in 2022.

Invest Ottawa updated the Committee on the development and launch of its strategy to attract and retain top talent to Ottawa’s thriving tech sector. The strategy builds on Ottawa’s strengths as a world-class technology hub, and one of the best places to live and work.

The Committee also received a status update on the O-Train Confederation Line project. The City continues to monitor critical elements of the testing and commissioning program needed to achieve Revenue Service Availability. Progress is being made with fleet availability and testing of trains along the alignment. Final cleanup of stations is underway.

The Committee approved designating three parcels of land for the development of affordable housing. The development of these three sites would be in addition to the more than 400 units in 10 affordable housing developments currently under construction or near site plan approval.

The Committee also approved increasing the City’s short-term borrowing limit from $100 million to $500 million. This increase will primarily help cover cash flow requirements for capital projects, bridging the time it takes to claim for the recovery of eligible costs from other levels of government. The City’s investments earned $37.8 million in 2018. As of October 31, 2018, $102 million, the total principal amount of the City’s first green bond, was invested in the Light-Rail Transit Stage 2 project.

According to the 2018 report on the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the City completed 825 access to information requests for general records and personal information. Items requiring Council approval will be considered on June 12.

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Joanne Mahoney