As the province plans for recovery, the town is beginning to slowly bring back services and reopen some public spaces. Provincial emergency orders and the town’s physical distancing by-law remain in effect. We must all continue to follow guidelines from Public Health officials.
Each year’s budget is about the progress we are making on our path to create Canada’s most livable town for ourselves, for our children and our grandchildren. Together, we are focusing on a clean environment and increasing livability, as well as value, efficiency and performance. We are building strong reserves. We meet our infrastructure renewal needs on a pay-as-we-go basis.
Cities around us are borrowing for these needs. We don’t need to do that.
This year, like last year, we have held the overall total tax increase to the level of CPI or less, as promised.
That was the unanimous direction by Council to Town Staff and the Budget Committee last year. And they have delivered.
Now, what will happen to taxes in the years ahead: we should expect to keep future tax increases at or under CPI, even as we continue working to create Canada’s most livable town. We will meet all our needs and stay within our means.
Before we set out to do all the catch up we are doing, we realized that the costs to operate new facilities would increase our taxes. So almost 5 years ago, the first thing we did was to shift the town to “Performance-Based Budgeting,” or PB2.
PB2 helped us find millions of dollars in operational efficiencies. On the path ahead to become Canada’s most livable town, Staff will use PB2 to reorganize delivery of our services and programs for even greater value and efficiency.
And we are creating a plan, called Vision 2057, to guide our town to our 200th birthday in 2057 without ever falling behind again, fiscally, socially, economically or environmentally.
We have great work ahead of us. Our work will create our town’s future.
This is the time and we are the ones who will make the big, 20 to 40 year decisions that shape the rest of our build out as Canada’s most livable town.
And because we are a community who can picture our future with such inspiration, passion and engagement, when we work together with creativity and imagination, our only direction is onward and upward!