Council debates 2023 budget directions and CHEO hosts a town hall on the flu: Five stories to watch this week

Council finalizes directions for the 2023 city of Ottawa budget, all eyes on respiratory viruses in Ottawa and the Senators honour Wade Redden.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

2023 city of Ottawa budget directions

Ottawa City Council will finalize the directions to staff to draft the 2023 city budget on Wednesday, during the final council meeting of the year.

Staff recommend drafting the first budget for Mayor Mark Sutcliffe with a maximum 2.5 per cent property tax increase, which Sutcliffe promised during the municipal election campaign.

Motions were moved last week to freeze transit fares in 2023, and cut youth recreational programming costs by 20 per cent next year.

Staff warn the city of Ottawa is facing “unprecedented inflationary pressures” that will impact all city services in 2023, due to “current external economic conditions and supply chain pressures.”

“Significant increases on fuel, construction indices, parts and supplies will have a significant impact to the 2023 Budget pressures,” says the report for Council. “Staff will also include a list of efficiencies and opportunities as part of the tabled 2023 Budget.”

The Ottawa Police Service would also be directed to draft the budget with a 2.5 per cent increase.

The draft operating and capital budget will be presented to Council on Feb. 1, 2023, with the budget finalized in March.

Who will sit on city of Ottawa committees?

We will find out this week who will sit on the city of Ottawa’s standing committees, and who will be the committee chairs.

The nominating committee will meet on Tuesday to finalize the members of each standing committee, with Council finalizing the selections on Wednesday.

Council already approved several changes to the committees for the new four-year term, including:

  • No citizen transit commissioners on the Transit Commission
  • The Community and Protective Services Committee separated into the “Community Services Committee” and the “Emergency Preparedness and Protective Services Committee.” 
  • The Finance and Economic Development Committee renamed the Finance and Corporate Services Committee
  • The Built Heritage Committee becomes a full standing committee

The first city committee meetings will be held in the new year.

The inside of Ottawa’s city council chamber is seen in this undated file image. (CTV News Ottawa)

Respiratory virus watch

All eyes will be on COVID-19, RSV and influenza monitoring indicators in Ottawa this week, as the countdown continues until Christmas morning.

Ottawa Public Health warned last week that COVID-19 levels are showing an “increase after weeks of decline”, while levels of RSV and influenza circulating in the community remain high.

Health officials say now is the best time to get the flu shot and COVID-19 booster dose for the “best possible protection” before the holidays.

“It takes 2 weeks for a flu vaccine to take effect. So in order to have the best possible protection this holiday season, this week is prime time to get your flu vaccine,” Ottawa Public Health said on Twitter this week.

CHEO is hosting an online question and answer session with CHEO infectious disease, pharmacy and emergency medicine experts to discuss respiratory viruses and kids.

The session will discuss respiratory illnesses and the current surge, tips to assist with caring for a sick child and when to seek emergency care.

The session begins at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. You can watch it on YouTube.

The inside of Ottawa’s city council chamber is seen in this undated file image. (CTV News Ottawa)

Honouring Wade Redden

Wade Redden will be inducted into the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honour on Monday night.

The long-time Senators defenceman was informed of the honour during a coaches meeting last month by former teammate Chris Phillips and general manager Pierre Dorion.

“Oh my God. That’s a huge honour, I appreciate that,” Redden said.

Redden was acquired by the Senators in January 1996. He played 11 seasons in Ottawa, suiting up for 838 games. Redden had 410 points with the Senators.

He did work with CHEO and the Ottawa Senators 65 Roses Sports Club. Redden also launched “Wade’s World”, allowing CHEO kids to watch a game in a suite.

The 45-year-old native of Lloydminster, Sask. retired in 2014 after playing 1,023 regular-season NHL games with Ottawa, the New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins.

The Senators host Anaheim Monday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

Ottawa Senators player development coach Wade Redden. (Ottawa Senators/website)

The Vassy Kapelos Show

Veteran political journalist Vassy Kapelos will host a new, national radio show starting on Monday.

Kapelos, newly named CTV’s Chief Political Correspondent, will host The Vassy Kapelos Show weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. on Newstalk 580 CFRA in Ottawa and across the iHeartRadio Canada talk network.

“It’s going to be really fun,” Kapelos told CTV News at Six. “I know it’s not supposed to be all the time hard core politics, even though that’s what I love, so there will be a lot of that, but there will be some fun to be had, especially through the holiday season and the lead-up to Christmas.”

In addition to hosting The Vassy Kapelos Show weekdays on radio, she also hosts CTV News Channel’s marquee daily political program Power Play, as well as Question Period, CTV’s weekly political program of record.

Ottawa Senators player development coach Wade Redden. (Ottawa Senators/website)

Events happening in Ottawa this week

Monday

Anaheim Ducks at Ottawa Senators – 7:30 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre

Tuesday

City of Ottawa nominating committee meets – 1 p.m.

Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting – 7 p.m.

Wednesday

Ottawa City Council meeting – 10 a.m.

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre

Friday

Ottawa 67’s vs. Oshawa Generals – 7 p.m. at the Arena at TD Place

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