FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is calling the 2022 Ottawa City Budget, tabled earlier this morning, a budget that is not grounded in reality that does very little to help us recover from the COVID-19 pandemic or the multiple crises we face. Most notably, the Ottawa Police asked for yet another budget increase at $14 million, making their total budget for this year $385 million while the 95 social service agencies in the city are forced to split a paltry $27 million.
“There is no reasonable society where social service agencies have to scrape by with such a miniscule pot of money, while the Police continue to get everything they ask for regardless of performance.” Said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “If our Council and Mayor actually cared about the residents of our city, the numbers in this budget would look very different.”
The budget also does very little to nothing to tackle the climate crisis, investing in policies that are counterintuitive to combating climate change including another 56% increase in expenditures when it comes to road expansion, a transit fare increase that will deter residents from taking transit and no mention of the city’s flagship environment program, Energy Evolution.
When it comes to the housing crisis, the budget is also unambitious, once again ignoring the amount of resources needed. The city is investing another $15 million, the same it has put into the budget the past three years despite the sharp 67% rise in homelessness throughout the pandemic.
“We continue to see the same exact budgets year after year from this Council that proposes nothing but measures that do less than the bare minimum.” Said Hersh. “Without a bold budget based on values of compassion and economic, social and environmental justice, residents across this city will continue to needlessly suffer.”
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