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(Posted 6 p.m., Jan. 22)
Mayor outlines 'A Year of Progress' in State of the City address

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Mayor Jim Watson delivered his annual State of the City address on Wednesday which reflected on the accomplishments of the past three years while focusing on the progress that remains to be made in the year ahead. File photo

Mayor Jim Watson delivered his annual State of the City address on Wednesday, and in the process unofficially kicked off his 2014 reelection campaign which, if his address is any indication, will be based on the theme of building on the progress made over the past three years.

Watson spent the first half of his address reflecting on the city's accomplishments since the last election and in particular over the last 12 months, which among other things, include commencement of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment project and the light rail tunnel.

He then turned his attention on the year ahead and the need to build on the progress that has already been made.

“2013 was a year of action. And 2014 will be a year of progress," Watson said emphatically. "It will take focus, steady hands, and hard work to ensure we continue making progress.”

Among the projects that will be moving forward in the year ahead are continuation of construction of the Confederation Line LRT tunnel; continuation of the Hwy. 417 expansion; completion of the Richcraft Sensplex East; improving O-Train service; the awarding of contracts to start construction on the new Arts Court and the Bayview Yards innovation complex; and the start of construction on the Rideau River Pedestrian and Cycling Bridge.

But the biggest event in the coming year will be the opening of TD Place and the return of CFL football to Ottawa after a seven year absence.

Watson also wants murals painted on Queensway overpasses at Parkdale, Metcalfe, Bank and Kent Streets similar to the mural currently in place at the Preston Street overpass.

The Mayor also wants to move forward with the Ottawa River Action Plan and he expressed his hope that the federal and provincial governments will agree to continue their partnership with the city and commit to funding the final portion of the plan.

To read Mayor Watson's entire speech visit http://ottawa.ca/en/news/state-city,

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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