Like so many people in Ottawa, I have a lot to be thankful for. We live in a beautiful, generous city with so much potential. And that’s never been more apparent to me than as a candidate for mayor.
I have knocked on thousands of doors across the city, I’ve heard a lot of anxiety and concern about the future. You’re worried about the rapidly rising cost of everything from food to gas, increasingly high interest rates, the cost of housing and the risk of a recession.
We need to approach this moment with a combination of compassion and fiscal responsibility. That’s the kind of balanced approach we’ve always taken in Ottawa. And it’s the kind of responsible approach I’ve employed throughout my career.
First, we have to do everything we can at city hall to make life more affordable for the people of Ottawa.
That means tightening our belts, being fiscally responsible, and focusing on the priorities that matter to you. I have released a clear, credible, and responsible affordability plan that will keep taxes low, reduce recreation fees, and freeze transit fares for a year.
I’ve also committed to a line-by-line review of the city’s spending, which has not been done in 20 years. Households across the city are finding ways to save. Voters expect their municipal government do the same. With fresh eyes and a fresh approach we can eliminate waste and duplication and protect the important services we all rely on.
But fiscal prudence alone will not fix all of our challenges. We must also demonstrate compassion. We must fund direct supports for our most vulnerable neighbours: those who are experiencing homelessness, mental illness, or substance-use disorder.
We will find ways to save money, and my plan makes dedicated investments to help our most vulnerable, by providing $4 million in new funding to community and social service agencies that provide programming and services to these individuals.
I know that we can be both a fiscally responsible city, and a compassionate city. I’ve witnessed that compassion through my volunteer work with the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, the United Way, OrKidstra, the Ottawa Food Bank, the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, and many other organizations who help those in need every single day.
But we can only afford to help the most vulnerable by carefully managing the city budget and making smart choices.
Not all of the plans put forward by other mayoral candidates are proposing a balanced approach.
Catherine McKenney’s plan would take Ottawa on a hard left turn, and prioritize the needs of downtown Ottawa. They would pursue impractical ideas like a quarter of a billion dollars for bike lanes, and drive up spending and debt when we cannot afford it
Bob Chiarelli’s plan sends Ottawa backwards, proposing irresponsible tax freezes which result in service cuts, at a time when we must invest in critical services.
My plan is for a fiscally responsible and compassionate Ottawa. It’s a plan that addresses the needs of families struggling to balance their household budgets, and invests in helping the most vulnerable.
On Thanksgiving weekend, we should remember that there are thousands in this city who are struggling and need a hand up from our City. I’ll protect the most vulnerable in our society by managing the city’s budget more effectively and continuing to fund critical community and social services.
As your Mayor, I’ll work hard every day to make your life more affordable. I’ll deliver change that works for you, change that puts your priorities first. On October 24, vote for a more fiscally responsible, compassionate Ottawa.
Mark Sutcliffe Campaign