City of Waterloo council summary September 18, 2023

Posted On Tuesday September 19, 2023

** The council summary provides a snapshot of the major items presented at council. Please refer to the Council minutes for an official record of the meeting. The recorded meeting can also be viewed on the City of Waterloo youtube channel**

Council approves additional pedestrian crossover locations to improve safety

Council approved the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 locations for pedestrian crossover installation as part of the City’s ongoing Road Safety Action Plan. Pedestrian crossovers are part of the City’s commitment to improve the safety of pedestrian connections and increase active transportation mobility. The use of regulatory signs, flashing beacons and pavement markings at crossovers, and ongoing education for drivers and pedestrians on proper use will help reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatalities on the City’s roads.

2023 Surplus-Deficit Projection Update

As part of the City’s commitment to operational excellence and providing fiscally responsible service, the Finance team regularly works with staff to review and update on the status of the yearly budget and any variances. Items that have the likelihood to vary by plus or minus $100,000 from the budget by year end are identified. Projections are monitored for property tax supported items (tax base) and user fee base items (Enterprise items), as well as Other items as per Council-approved policy. Finance staff provided an update for Council information that the 2023 projected net tax base position is a surplus of approximately $0.2M, and the Enterprise areas are projecting a net surplus of $1.1M. Details on projections and departmental/divisional breakdowns are available in the staff report.

Staff will continue to monitor activities and take appropriate action within their divisions on a monthly basis as appropriate, with a final 2023 surplus-deficit allocation report by May 2024.

Council continues to invest in Waterloo Region Economic Development

Council reaffirmed their commitment to the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation (WREDC) with a renewed agreement and incremental funding increases. The WREDC partnership between councils of the Region of Waterloo and lower-tier municipalities directly supports the Waterloo Region community by leading foreign direct investment attraction efforts and partnering on local business retention and expansion.

Since 2016 in the City of Waterloo, there has been approximately $150M in investment, 21 closed deals and 631 jobs created through the successful advocacy of the WREDC partnership. Council recognized the value of this partnership and approved the phased-in increase of the City’s contribution from $320,000 per year in 2023 to $520,000 by 2026. The financial increase will bring stability and sustainable funding to WREDC in support of local economic goals, as the federal and provincial funding previously relied on is phased out.

Council passes motion advocating for Guaranteed Livable Basic Income

Council passed a motion to request that the provincial and federal governments establish a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income to combat poverty, income inequality and economic insecurity in our community. Council is also advocating for an increase to Social Assistance rates for both Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support programs to reflect the cost of living, and to tie those rates to inflation until a guaranteed income program can be fully implemented. To achieve a high quality of life for all residents, the City of Waterloo is addressing the impacts of poverty with fee assistance services, grants and rebate programs, funding and resources for community programs, and as a living wage champion employer. A Guaranteed Livable Basic Income has the potential to prevent people from falling into poverty by providing an income top-up for all who need it, so that individuals and communities can thrive.




Media contact:
Cari Van Niekerk
Director, Corporate Communications