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Good year for Ottawa, says mayor

It was a year that saw new funding for a transit system, a fresh startfor Lansdowne Park and a plan to revamp the city’s economic developmentplan.

It was a year that saw new funding for a transit system, a fresh start for Lansdowne Park and a plan to revamp the city’s economic development plan.

And as the curtain comes down on 2009, the mayor said it was a good year for the city of Ottawa.

“The end of the year was the highlight for me,” Mayor Larry O’Brien said Wednesday, referring to the $600-million provincial funding announcement for the city’s transit plan.

“After public security and safety of the residents, the next most important priority for municipal council is the prosperity of its citizens, and the most important tool we have initially is the public transportation system,” he said. “I think we have that one licked now.”

Another highlight for the year is Lansdowne Park.

“After decades of neglect, (it) is finally moving ahead,” he said.

In addition to transit and Lansdowne, a new priority for 2010 is refreshing the city’s economic development plan, O’Brien said.

Also of note this year was the land the city donated to Algonquin College and La Cité collégiale for their skills training facilities.

The year was not without its challenges.

The mayor’s three-month trial for influence peddling — charges for which he was found not guilty — “was a political mugging I could have done without,” said O’Brien.

Then there was the H1N1 pandemic, which medical officer of health Dr. Isra Levy and his staff handled “sparklingly well.”

But the provincial funding for transit was the perfect ending to the year.

“It’s a game changer for the city of Ottawa,” he said.

 
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