Ariel Troster is the City Councillor for Somerset Ward, located in the heart of Ottawa. Ariel is focused on helping to build a city where everyone can thrive.

“I’m working to build an Ottawa that is fun, diverse, and compassionate. Where everyone can afford a place to live, where social services are adequately funded, and where we can all move easily and safely through our city, whether by walking, biking, rolling or driving.”

News & Updates

Somerset Ward Mailer Volume 4

I am writing this letter as I spend some time with my family on the long weekend, taking a moment to breathe after an intense couple of weeks at City Hall. Our deliberations on the 2023 budget continue, with city committees hearing from community delegates and passing each section of the budget that will rise to Council on March 1st.

Last week, I dissented on the section of the Planning and Housing budget related to affordable housing, because I believe that $15 million for new construction is not nearly enough. It's been three years since Ottawa declared a housing and homelessness emergency. Since then, the number of people sleeping outside has doubled. Over 12,000 people remain on the waiting list for subsidized housing.

Between 2019 and 2020, 8,619 people experienced homelessness in Ottawa, 46% of them for the first time. The yearly capital spend on affordable housing has not changed since 2019. In real terms, in the face of record inflation, this is a cut.

Have your say: upcoming opportunities to speak about the budget

La version française suit

The Ottawa city budget season is now in full swing, and I wanted to reach out to ensure that you have all the information you need to engage in the process.

The draft budget was presented to City Council on February 1st, and I posted a video with my initial reaction. As I mention in the video, my top concern is to ensure that there are no cuts to frontline services in our downtown core, particularly for seniors, people experiencing homelessness, and those who are struggling with addiction or mental health challenges.

As I flagged during the vote last year on budget direction, I am very concerned that a tax increase of only 2.5% will not provide the resources that the city needs to maintain essential infrastructure and run important social programs that our neighbours rely on.

More cold weather & resources

Instead of the snow we have come to expect, residents are facing some of the coldest temperatures we have seen in a while, hovering close to -40 with the wind chill. Due to this extreme weather, residents are encouraged to:

  1. Layer up and watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia if you are spending any time outside.
  2. Access City facilities to stay warm if needed.

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