Mayor Jim Watson welcomes budget money for river, LRT
Ottawa's mayor is giving a thumbs up to the Ontario budget, which he says makes good on earlier promises to fund a clean-up of the Ottawa River and pay for the next phase of the city's light rail project.
The 2014 budget had been introduced earlier this year, but when both the NDP and Progressive Conservatives announced their intentions to oppose it, Premier Kathleen Wynne triggered an election.
Chief among these was a $65 million commitment from the province for the Ottawa River Action Plan to clean up the river and prevent further sewage spills.
The city has budgeted in $195 million in capital spending for a sewage storage tunnel. With the municipal and provincial funding promised, Watson said the city only needs the federal funding commitment but has been speaking with local MP John Baird and expects it to come.
"I know we can deliver the gift of a clean Ottawa River for the next generation," said Watson.
The budget also reiterated the Liberal government's commitment to the second phase of LRT construction, which will extend the current system under construction from Place d'Orleans in the east to Bayshore in the west, said Watson.
Bruce Lazenby, the president and CEO of Invest Ottawa, said the already-announced Jobs and Prosperity Fund — a program to bring international companies to Ontario through rebates and incentives — is also welcome.
"What this does is give us more tools with which we can complete globally against other jurisdictions," said Lazenby.