OTTAWA — One of the capital’s longer-serving city councillors is criticizing the city’s draft budget, saying the math doesn’t add up.
As council was hearing presentations on the city budget, College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli left his seat at the council table to come to the area where reporters sit, at the back of council chambers. Chiarelli told reporters the spending plan was a “fake budget.”
“I’d encourage members of council to read the budget before they criticize it,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I know that Councillor Chiarelli missed the presentation…because he was doing a press conference up in the press area.”
Chiarelli did not offer specifics, but predicted that under this budget the city would end 2018 in deficit. He pointed to areas with less money budgeted than was actually spent in the previous year.
“We don’t go and say, ‘we overspent by $8 million, so we have to increase it by $8 million,'” explained Marian Simulik, city treasurer. “We look at it on an average — what has the actual impact been to the budget.”
The mayor says he has full confidence in the numbers prepared by city staff.
“These numbers are all solid,” said Watson.
Council will vote on the final version of the budget December 13.