City Stays Status Quo on 2021 Budget Process


It'll be status quo for the city's 2021 budget process.

There was a motion to shift to a zero-based budget to allow council to take a deeper dive into the document, but that's been put on hold for now.

Council has opted to stay with the current process as extra staff resources have been shifted to handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ward 9 Councillor Kieran McKenzie thinks the democratic process can be served under the status quo.

"Under the constraints of the pandemic across us now, while no perfect, still is transparent and does go through the democratic process and does give the community the chance to participate," he says.

McKenzie says the pandemic won't stand in the way of a thorough budget process.

"We'll look at each one of the first levels longer with a more robust community discussion," says McKenzie. "Were those the types of services the community expected the municipality is going to deliver?"

He thinks the lessons carried through the 2021 budget process will carry forward.

"Ultimately, I think at the end of the 2022 budget process it will be one of the best budgets in  terms of accountability and transparency that we've had in a long time," he added.

If all goes to plan, budget deliberations will begin on January 25 of next year.

— with files from AM800's Rob Hindi & Zander Broeckel