Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Federal budget: What did Ottawa get?

Total mentions of 'Ottawa' in the budget: Three.
Total mentions of 'National Capital Region' in the budget: One.

While cities and towns across Canada, including Ottawa, will receive billions of dollars in infrastructural investment over the next several years, the nation's capital did not crack the list of federal priorities.

The lone infrastructure investment specific to the National Capital Region is money that will go towards the maintenance of "several federal bridges" in the area.

Also on the transit front, Ottawa's three shout-outs in the budget were dedicated to an improvement of VIA service in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto corridor.

After that, it was slim pickings for Ottawa. In 2007, the federal Tories introduced the Building Canada fund, which committed $33 billion over seven years to infrastructure across Canada. The established priorities of the fund were outlined in today's budget:
• Summerside Wind Energy in Prince Edward Island
• Trans-Canada Highway improvements in Newfoundland and Labrador
• Major bridge rehabilitation on the National Highway System
in Nova Scotia
• Fundy Trail Parkway in New Brunswick
• Road upgrades in the Québec City metropolitan area, and upgrades to water and sewer systems across the province of Quebec.
• Union Station revitalization in Toronto, Ontario
• Centreport Project at Inland Port in Winnipeg, Manitoba
• Highway 39 truck bypass in Estevan, Saskatchewan
• Telus World of Science in Calgary, Alberta
• Evergreen transit line in Vancouver, British Columbia
• Piqqusilirivvik cultural facility in Clyde River, Nunavut
• City of Yellowknife bypass road in the Northwest Territories
• Water treatment projects in the Yukon
Nothing to be found on that list in Ottawa. Of course, there is plenty of money in the Building Canada fund and Ottawa is sure to get some of the goods over the years. We shall see as projects roll out.

Admittedly, this is a fairly unsubstantial first glance at the budget. If any readers have opinions about how today's budget will affect Ottawa, please make your views known in the comments section.

UPDATE: Commenter Bob LeDrew points out the following: "Algonquin College was specifically mentioned in Chapter 3D as one place where funds could be spent for repair or renovation for facilities that would lead to increases in high tech or advanced skills training."

3 comments:

insiba said...

There's no Trans-Canada Highway in Labrador, only Newfoundland.

Anonymous said...

These funds were designed to hit the streets today. Infrastructure that is to be built, and create real jobs, right away. Not planning.

They were also designed with politcal goals of course, but that's nothing new.

Ottawa has done itself no favours by having an on again off again transit plan, national portrait gallery, pedestrian bridge, etc, etc ad nauseum. There's a difference between proposing a plan and actually having blueprints ready to go.

When Ottawa gets emergency funding for a sewage spill, it debates whether fixing the problem is the best way to spend that money. This is the stuff nightmares are made of, and maybe the best way to ensure that future assistance will not come is to not spend the assistance you've already gotten for readily identified problems promptly.

Fire your councilors folks. Especially the ones who want to close Albion road or do any other goddamn thing to pander to the electorate.

They're still right about the OC Transpo thing though.

Bob LeDrew said...

Algonquin College was specifically mentioned in Chapter 3D as one place where funds could be spent for repair or renovation for facilities that would lead to increases in high tech or advanced skills training.