2016 the year of collaboration, says Watson in state of city address

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson delivered his state of the city address Wednesday at the first city council meeting of the year, calling 2016 the “year of collaboration.”

“When you look at what’s happening at the federal and provincial levels, you cannot help but get the sense that the stars are aligning in many ways,” he said.

Many shovels will break ground this year, as the City of Ottawa ramps up preparations for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

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Apart from the party planning, here are some other big things on the city’s agenda:

The city’s biggest task will be securing funding for the second phase of light rail transit. If all the money comes through, the city will start the procurement process late this year or early next year.   The final portion of the Ottawa River clean-up project (the Ottawa River Action Plan) will get underway with the installation of a combined sewage storage tunnel.   A request for proposal on the central library project will be issued later this year.   Coun. Jody Mitic, the city’s sports commissioner, is working on a potential bid to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games.

Another trip

Fresh off an economic and tourism mission to Beijing and Bangkok last fall, the mayor announced he will head to India in April.

Lately, there has been a lot of political and business interest in the world’s largest democracy. Premier Kathleen Wynne recently left for India on a trade mission, not long after a delegation of Ontario Progressive Conservatives returned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Toronto Mayor John Tory have also announced similar travel plans.

“There’s clearly a lot of potential for business and economic growth,” said Mr. Watson.

Like his last trip, Invest Ottawa and the city’s economic development branch will cover the mayor’s travel costs. Business delegates will pay their own way.

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on Jan. 27.

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