PRESS RELEASE: Horizon Ottawa Calls Vote Against Luxury Hotel Tax Break A Win for Community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa is calling today's vote against the proposed Community Improvement Plan (CIP) grant that was supposed to go to Germain Hotels a "win for the community."

If approved, the grant would have meant that Germain Hotels would have been exempt from paying a large portion of their property taxes on a luxury hotel that is planned to be built around the Ottawa International Airport.

The original CIP proposal, that failed in a tied vote last week at the Finance and Corporate Services Committee, would have seen over $13 million waived in taxes for Germain.

In a bid to try and convince councillors to change their votes, the company changed their proposal to a 10-year, $3.6 million grant (through a motion proposed by Councillor Gower) but that failed to pass a council vote with only Councillors Kitts, Dudas, Gower, Curry, Luloff, King and Hill voting in favour.

This same program was used in May 2021, to give a $2.9 million tax break to a Porsche dealership in Vanier under the guise of “community benefit”

"We're pleased to see this egregious use of taxpayer dollars being rejected by Council today - it was clear from the changing proposals that Germain Hotels did not need this grant" said Sam Hersh, a Board member of Horizon Ottawa. "This decision today shows that when the community pushes back and raises its voice that we can have an impact."

Earlier this month, an email campaign was launched by Horizon Ottawa that saw almost 1100 residents from across the city send messages to councillors demanding that they reject today's decision and instead to invest money in community services like our massive transit deficit and use the CIP program to incentivize the building of affordable housing rather than the development of luxury hotels.

"The community has been crystal clear - they won't accept using public subsidies to fund corporate profits" said Hersh. "We hope that this sets an example for future council decisions this term."

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For Media Inquiries:

Sam Hersh
613-663-7018
[email protected]

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