Mayor Mark Sutcliffe | Priorities
 

Priorities

 

Our quality of life is directly linked to air quality, clean water, and access to plenty of green space. We must protect our region’s biodiversity and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle.

The impacts of climate change on our city are real and immediate. We must work together to both reduce emissions, and mitigate the impacts of climate change, as adverse weather events such as storms and flooding become more common.

I believe a clean, and green Ottawa is the foundation of a prosperous, growing Ottawa. As your Mayor, I am taking practical, immediate, and achievable actions to make the workings of our city more energy efficient, reduce emissions, and preserve the natural beauty of our nation’s capital.

 

Safety Priorities:

We are facing a substance use disorder and mental illness crisis in Ottawa. Mental illness is one of the greatest challenges we face as a community. And I think we can all agree we need a new approach to responding to mental health calls. A new compassionate and caring approach. We are launching a pilot program in 2024 that will create an alternative number to 911 that residents can call, have access to a team specially trained to offer compassionate support to those in a mental health or substance abuse crisis. 

I have renewed my commitment to the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Ottawa. This objective requires the collective efforts of the City of Ottawa, other levels of government, community organizations and the community as a whole. I have met with many different groups who are working hard in this area, including the Alliance to End Homelessness, Salus Ottawa, Shepherds of Good Hope, the John Howard Society, and many others. These are all people who dedicate themselves to addressing and solving this crisis. The first piece of our comprehensive strategy is a framework to transition single adults experiencing homelessness out of Physical Distancing Centres and shelters and into transitional and supportive housing. The City has developed a responsive and effective plan to provide support to people in need as they transition to a more permanent home. And we continue to work together on other solutions to help us reach the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Ottawa.

We have achieved a remarkable milestone in our city. We now have more supportive housing units than shelter beds. This milestone is significant in that is highlights our approach to homelessness by prioritizing supportive housing, which focuses on providing stable, long-term solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness. With more supportive housing units than shelter beds, we are reducing our reliance on temporary solutions to homelessness. By investing in supportive housing, we are addressing the root causes of homelessness and working towards sustainable solutions that lead to lasting positive change.

 

Here’s what we are working on:

  • To prioritize building 100,000 new homes in our city over the next ten years.
  • Deliver on the city’s community housing commitments, building 1,000 units per year.
  • Take a balanced approach to the development of our city that prioritizes smart intensification, respects community design plans, and does so without expanding Ottawa’s urban boundary.
  • I have brought together Ottawa Community Housing, not-for-profit housing providers, homebuilders, building trades, unions, planners, colleges and universities, citizen groups, other governments, city staff and others to create a detailed strategic plan, with concrete actions and timelines, to break down the barriers to getting the housing we need to be built with no expansion of the urban boundary.
  • I have tasked City Staff with streamlining and quickening the approval processes to bust through the red tape that prevent housing from being built. We are examining what incentives and innovations are needed to get housing built, in a way that is thoughtful and respects community design plans.
  • I have renewed my commitment to the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Ottawa. This objective requires the collective efforts of the City of Ottawa, other levels of government, community organizations and the community as a whole. I have met with many different groups who are working hard in this area, including the Alliance to End Homelessness, Salus Ottawa, Shepherds of Good Hope, the John Howard Society, and many others. These are all people who dedicate themselves to addressing and solving this crisis. The first piece of our comprehensive strategy is a framework to transition single adults experiencing homelessness out of Physical Distancing Centres and shelters and into transitional and supportive housing. The City has developed a responsive and effective plan to provide support to people in need as they transition to a more permanent home. And we continue to work together on other solutions to help us reach the goal of ending chronic homelessness in Ottawa.
  • We have achieved a remarkable milestone in our city. We now have more supportive housing units than shelter beds. This milestone is significant in that is highlights our approach to homelessness by prioritizing supportive housing, which focuses on providing stable, long-term solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness. With more supportive housing units than shelter beds, we are reducing our reliance on temporary solutions to homelessness. By investing in supportive housing, we are addressing the root causes of homelessness and working towards sustainable solutions that lead to lasting positive change.
 

Here’s what we are working on:

  • Increase investment in road maintenance and winter clearing budgets by $100 million over 4 years so that potholes get fixed quickly, our roads are better maintained, and the standards for road clearing during winter are raised.
  • Implement the key recommendations from the judicial inquiry on Phase 1 of light rail to fix the system and deliver phase 2 of light rail. I am also working on securing funding for phase 3 to bring light rail to Kanata, Stittsville and Barrhaven.
  • We are modernizing the routing and scheduling of OC Transpo bus service to reflect what riders want, including a different pay structure and better app to navigate the routes.
 

Here’s how we are making Ottawa more affordable:

  • Limit the property tax increase to between 2 per cent and 2.5 per cent for 2023 and 2024, targeting the same level for 2025 and 2026.
  • Launch a strategic review of existing city spending, which has not been conducted since the early 2000s.
  • Commit to no new types of taxes over the next four years.
  • Reduce recreation fees for children and families by 10%.
  • Freeze all transit fares for 2023.
  • Invest only in priority areas that serve all of Ottawa, such as improving the quality of our roads, properly funding emergency services, and investing in programs and services for our most vulnerable.
 

I believe that our French culture is an asset. It is a strength. It is an opportunity. It's the history of our city, it's our collective history, it's what makes our city so special. We are proud of the bilingual character of our city!

Francophone businesses have a huge role to play in Ottawa's economic recovery.

Together, we can accomplish more than we ever could individually, and I'm pleased to see the positive impact these meetings will have on our business community and on Ottawa as a whole.