This week, the Federal Budget was released and I am happy to say it includes multiple benefits to improving programs and services across the City of Ottawa.
Some of the highlights include:
- $73.3 million over six years, on a cash basis, starting in 2018–19, with $4 million per year ongoing, to support the construction and ongoing operations of a new joint facility that will house Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library
National Housing Strategy
- 31 million for 2018-2019 and $114 million for 2018-2023 to build more rental housing for Canadian families (14,000 new rental units across the country)
- Additional $231.4 million over five years, with $1.9 million in remaining amortization and $13.5 million per year ongoing, to help address the opioid crisis, including public education campaigns related to treatment, expanding the Substance Use and Addictions Program, and $150 million in one-time emergency funding for provinces and territories for multi-year projects that improve access to evidence-based treatment services
- It is the federal government’s expectation that a substantial portion of the revenues from cannabis taxes provided to provinces and territories will be transferred to municipalities and local communities, who are on the front lines of legalization
- $62.5 million over five years for community-based organizations and Indigenous organizations for public education on the risk of using cannabis
Support for police officers, firefighters and paramedics
- $20 million over five years to research post-traumatic street injuries
- $10 million over five years for an online cognitive behavioural therapy pilot to increase access to care and treatment across Canada
- More than $1.3 billion over five years to protect Canada’s ecosystems, landscapes and biodiversity, including species at risk
And much more.
As Chair of the Board of Health and Crime Prevention Ottawa, I am pleased to see a great deal of emphasis being placed on looking at new strategies to help protect residents in a modern era of drug use/abuse as well as support for the officers, firefighters and paramedics who help to keep our communities safe.
Over the coming weeks, the budget will be reviewed by City of Ottawa officials in an effort to determine how best the new programs and services can be implemented in our benefit.
To read the budget in its entirety, please click here.