Budget has plenty of goodies for City of Ottawa
And this signals 'very good news' for Ottawa residents, said Mayor Jim Watson.
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The federal Liberals are opening the funding floodgates for cities in the coming years – and Ottawa stands to get a chunk of that change.
The 2016 federal budget, tabled on Tuesday, is packed with nuggets for the nation’s capital – $156.4 million to expand the Canada Science and Technology Museum, $114.9 million to revamp the National Arts Centre, and $62 million for a sewage tunnel to clean up the Ottawa River, among others.
A $11.9-billion fund over five years for transit will help with “large-scale” projects, including Ottawa’s light rail transit line. But the city still has to apply for and negotiate an exact dollar figure for phase two of the LRT.
As expected, the federal Liberals will fund up to 50 per cent of city infrastructure projects.
This budget signals “very good news” for Ottawa residents, says Mayor Jim Watson.
“It’s a very positive signal on the part of the federal government that they understand that there are a number of municipalities that don’t have the full financial capacity to pay for all these projects,” he said. “If we want to see light rail travel farther east and west and south, this gives us that opportunity to free up about $500 million.”
There are other shovel-ready city projects that could be eligible for federal funding, said Watson, including a “backlog” of social housing repairs.
This year’s federal deficit will be about $30 billion.