NHL commissioner visits Ottawa and alcohol tax set to increase: Five stories to watch this week
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman visits Ottawa as the Senators sale heats up, the federal government delivers its latest budget, and the cost of your favourite alcoholic drink is going up on Saturday.
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at five stories to watch this week.
NHL Commissioner visits Ottawa
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will be in Ottawa on Monday, as the sale process for the Ottawa Senators continues.
Bettman will meet with Mayor Mark Sutcliffe and attend the Senators game against the Florida Panthers Monday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
"I'm looking forward to meeting with Commissioner Bettman and I'm glad to have the opportunity to speak with him on Monday," Sutcliffe said. "I think the prospective owners are just as interested in Ottawa as they are in the Senators, which I'm excited about."
"The city's got a role to play in this. It may not be a financial role, but there are lots of other ways that the city can contribute to the process. I'm ready to have those conversations, but it's very early."
Postmedia reported Bettman will also meet with National Capital Commission CEO Tobi Nussbaum and other officials to discuss plans for a possible arena at LeBreton Flats.
The visit comes as the sale of the Ottawa Senators moves into the second phase, with the winnowing down of the number of interested parties.
Sports business news publication Sportico reported earlier this month that nine different groups submitted bids to buy the franchise, with some valuing the team north of $900 million U.S.
Gary Bettman takes questions from reporter at the NHL general managers' meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 15, 2023. (TSN)
Federal budget day
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is promising "targeted inflation relief" to help make life more affordable in this week's federal budget.
Freeland and the Federal Liberal government will table the 2023-24 fiscal year budget on Tuesday on Parliament Hill.
A federal source told the Canadian Press last week that the budget will detail how the Liberals plan to go after hidden and unexpected consumer fees, like those that are tacked on to the initial price of a product or service.
The NDP has called on the government to extend the temporary boost to the GST rebate that was offered in the fall, and to provide funding for school lunches.
Ottawa public school board faces $20 million deficit
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board will take the first step in finalizing its 2023-24 budget on Monday night, with the approval of the staffing plan.
Ottawa's largest school board is facing a projected $15 million to $20 million budget deficit this year, due to rising operating costs, the discontinuation of COVID-19 funding from the Ministry of Education and increasing costs to cover absent teachers.
Staff are recommending the board eliminate 21 discretionary staffing positions for the 2023-24 school year, helping to save $2.3 million.
The recommended cuts include 8 instructional coaches in elementary schools, 6 instructional coaches in secondary schools, two elementary special education learning support consultants, 3.57 FTE positions for primary special needs classes and 5.83 FTE positions for learning support teachers in secondary special education.
The proposed budget for academic staffing in elementary and secondary schools is $528 million next school year, which provides for 4,938.67 full-time equivalent positions. Staff say there will be 151 new FTE positions in elementary schools and 39 more FTE positions in secondary schools for 2023-24 than the 2022-23 school year.
An advisory council is discussing stopping the playing of the national anthem at OCDSB schools (Colton Praill/CTV News Ottawa)
Stage 2 LRT update
Ottawa's new light rail sub-committee will receive an update on construction on Stage 2 of Ottawa's light rail transit project this week.
Stage 2 would see the Confederation Line extended to Tenth Line Road in the east and Algonquin College and Moodie Drive in the west, while the north-sound Trillium Line will run from Bayview Station to Riverside South, with a spur to the Ottawa International Airport.
A memo to council earlier this month said the north-south line is expected to be completed by August/September, contingent on: competition of trackwork, successfully completing signal testing and system-wide commissioning, regulatory approvals and training completion.
The eastern extension of the Confederation Line is running nine weeks behind schedule, with completion expected in January 2025.
Nearing the end of the line at Cyrville station. A small utilitarian station with not much happening except trains. (Graham Richardson/CTV Ottawa)
Alcohol costs going up
The cost of your favourite alcoholic drink will go up on April 1.
The federal beverage alcohol duty is set to increase 6.3 per cent. Alcohol excise duties are imposed at the manufacturing level and adjusted annually based on inflation.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario says the increase in the alcohol duty will result in a 5 to 10 cent increase on a 750 ml bottle or a six-pack of beer, while a bottle of hard alcohol could increase by as much as 70 cents.
The federal carbon tax will also increase on Saturday.
Events happening in Ottawa this week
Ottawa Police Services Board meeting – 4 p.m.
Ottawa Senators host the Florida Panthers – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre
Ottawa Carleton District School Board budget meeting – 7:30 p.m.
Ottawa Community Services Committee meeting – 9:30 a.m.
Ottawa Carleton District School Board meeting - 7 p.m.
Ottawa Catholic School Board meeting – 7 p.m.
Light Rail Sub-Committee meeting – 9:30 a.m.
Emergency Preparedness and Protective Services Committee – 9:30 a.m.
Ottawa Senators host the Florida Panthers – 7 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre
Ottawa 67's vs. Oshawa Generals – Game 1 – 7 p.m. at Slush Puppie Centre in Gatineau
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