Police warn of need for more money in 2025

The police chief warned bigger budget increases are needed in the future, and the Hunt Club forest clearcutting begins.

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Good morning,

Budget season is winding to a close. Today we’ve got the latest on the passing of the police budget, and where those budgets are going in the future (up). And it looks like the story of the Hunt Club forest is coming to a close, as crews moved to begin cutting trees.

A reminder that today is the last day to complete our end-of-year survey to shape the stories and issues we cover next year. If you care about what happens at city hall and the big issues facing Ottawa, then take the short survey today.

A reminder that today is the last day to complete our end of year survey to shape the stories and issues we cover next year. If you care about what happens at city hall and the big issues facing Ottawa, then take the short survey today.

Why don’t we get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor

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Wednesday: 0 🌡️ -4 | ❄️

Thursday: +5 🌡️ +1 | 🌤

Friday: +3 🌡️ -8 | ☁️


Police warn higher increases needed in the future

What happened: This will be the last year that the Ottawa Police Service will be able to hold its budget increases to 2.5 percent, Chief Eric Stubbs said according to the Ottawa Citizen. An upcoming hiring spree means the force will need more money in the coming years, and a modest increase like this year will not cut it.

  • This year’s police operating budget increased by $13.4 million to $372.4 million. The city’s overall operating budget is $4.6 billion.

New hires: Stubbs said the force planned to add 550 new employees, 435 of them new officers, in the next three years. There is enough money in the budget to cover the plan in 2024, when just 25 will be hired. But in years two and three, he said the force would “not be able to make” an increase of just 2.5 percent, according to CTV.

What it means: It sets up a possible budget fight in the coming years. When he ran for the job, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe promised to raise taxes by 2.5 percent in his first two years. He’s delivered on that so far, but it’s not clear whether there would be an appetite for larger tax increases in the future.

  • If only 25 of the planned 550 new hires are coming in 2024, that means the force could need a lot more money next year to hire as many as it wants, at a time when many other services are under difficult financial pressure.

Other city hall news

A better deal? Mayor Sutcliffe signalled Ottawa could be getting a new deal from the province that would give some financial stability to OC Transpo, and take the burden of maintaining the 174 off the city, CTV reported. It would be a similar deal to one signed by Toronto and the province earlier this week. 

  • In that city, the province took over urban highways and gave money to the city for LRT operations and shelters. At the same time, the city vowed to support the province’s plans for a new waterfront spa and the relocation of a museum, CTV reported.

Audit vote fails: Following a scathing report from the city’s auditor general, a vote for council to formally ask the provincial auditor general to investigate city staff’s endorsement of a developer’s plan to build in Barrhaven failed in a tie at the audit committee. Despite the 4-4 tie vote (which means it fails) the whole council can decide whether they want to endorse a provincial investigation at a later meeting.

  • Those for - Theresa Kavanagh, Catherine Kitts, Cathy Curry, and Marty Carr

  • Those opposed - Allan Hubley, David Hill, David Brown, and Wilson Lo

The Lookout did a deep dive on the Ottawa auditor general’s report in Monday’s issue. Read it here.


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🚨 4: The number of people Ottawa police charged with stunt driving in city limits Monday. All of the drivers were going at least 50 km/h above the speed limit. [CTV]

📉 81.3: The average life expectancy for a Canadian in 2022, which is down from 82.3 back in 2019. [CTV]


🏗️ Neighbours of a Wesboro high-rise under construction said they’ve had to complain several times to the developer before getting a response for concrete splatters and other damage caused by the new building. [CBC]

💐 A 52-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday west of Stittsville. On Sunday, a woman in her 50s died in a two-vehicle collision on Carp Road. [CTV/CBC]

💰 A grandfather won $5 million on an instant ticket he bought in Gloucester. He said he’ll put the money toward retirement and his family. [CTV]

🎅🏻 The Canadian Pacific Kansas City Holiday Train made its merry way through several towns in the region including Smiths Falls and Perth this week.  [CTV]

📚 The school is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but Stittsville Public School can trace its origins to a schoolhouse on Carp Road. [Stittsville Central]


Clear cutting of Hunt Club forest begins

What happened: Workers began logging the forest along Hunt Club as promised by the Ottawa Airport Authority earlier this month, CTV reported. The work drew a small crowd of protestors, many of whom had tried for several years to save the forest from development.

  • The airport announced recently that it had to clear cut the forest for safety reasons, because the forest had been neglected for too long. At least one consultant said there were other options that could have left some of the forest standing.

Coming down: Protesters said about 100 or so trees were taken down Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reported. They begged the federal transport minister to step in and halt the cutting of the 10 acres of forest. 

In a memo last week, the city said it shouldn’t take over the land because of the work required to bring it up to municipal standards. Before the work was completed, the city would have to keep people out of the forest. “Ownership of the woodlot would create an on-going enforcement pressure as well as potential legal and financial liabilities,” staff wrote in the memo.


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House of The Week is a home selected by the Lookout team and is not a paid advertisement. All ads are labelled as such. If you’re a realtor who wishes to feature your home in our newsletter, please contact our sales team.


When we called, our donor community answered

Perley Health Foundation is proud to announce the successful completion of its Answering the Call fundraising campaign, achieving its ambitious $10 million goal. This marks a historic moment in the foundation's history and represents a significant milestone in supporting innovation and excellence in seniors and Veterans care at the Perley Health Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care.

You can still support transforming for Seniors and Veterans by making a donation today.


⚖️ The defence in the Tamara Lich and Chris Barber convoy trial argued the use of the phrase “hold the line” does not mean organizers were encouraging illegal activity. The lawyer also argued the two should not be considered co-conspirators for the purpose of the trial. [CTV]

🩺 An informal coalition of doctors is considering job action to protest the deteriorating state of the family medical system. The Ontario Union of Family Physicians is suggesting doctors reduce their weekly in-person clinical hours by one hour and replace it with virtual time in protest of the lack of funding and assistance they receive. 

👧 The Boys and Girls Club will close down their chapter in Chinatown. The Rochester Heights clubhouse will close Dec. 15, a devastating blow to nearby parents. [CBC]

🪨 A recent spate of mining claims on land in Gatineau has residents worried their land could become a mine. The company behind the claims said exploration can’t begin without the consent of property owners. Only about 14 percent of claims in the province ever move forward to exploration. [CBC]

🍽️ The Ottawa Mission is in need of donations, ahead of what it expects to be a record-breaking holiday season. It expects to serve about 17,000 Christmas meals, in a year when it’s on track to serve more than its all-time yearly record of 1.06 million meals. You can donate to the Mission here. [CTV]

  • The Sens lost to the Panthers 5-0 in ugly fashion, with an on-ice brawl having all five skaters from each team on the ice sent off at once. Ottawa sits last in the Atlantic Division with an 8-9-0 record. [CTV]

  • Want self-growth insights but sick of hustle culture? Check out The Boonly, the Sunday newsletter for anyone craving a spark of wholesome curiosity. Sign up for free here. [Sponsored]

  • Are you a goalie? There’s a local team looking for a fill in for a Dec. 23 tournament. [Reddit]

  • It’s only seven years ago, but the skyline in Gatineau probably looks quite a bit different at sunset these days. [Reddit]

  • You gotta admit Christmas at Lansdowne looks pretty good at night. [Reddit]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Learn how here.


Coming up: Talking transit with Coun. Glen Gower

In tomorrow’s edition of the City Hall Insider, we speak with Transit Commission chair Coun. Glen Gower all about transit. We go through some of the budget and what the route changes mean for the city, what the future of OC Transpo might look like, what he learned from a recent ride along on ParaTranspo, and whether he’s hopeful or despairing about the future of transit in the city.

Not a member? Sign up now to get this story in your inbox on Thursday.


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Congrats to Chantal, Adam, Gord, Marcelle, Rohit, and many more who knew a developer plans to bring in 407,000 cubic metres of fill to make a subdivision along the Jock River in Barrhaven possible.

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