Mayor Jim Watson, stopped by the college to speak to the second-year journalism students on Dec. 6.

The mayor, who also studied journalism at Carleton University, encouraged the students to persevere in the program and spoke on the city’s expectations for the new year.

Canada is celebrating 150 years of confederation in 2017 and Watson also spoke about how Ottawa is preparing to join in the celebration.

According to the mayor, the city can expect the tax rate to remain below two per cent and the Equipass, a low-income bus pass for low income families to be introduced. To celebrate, there will be numerous attractions throughout the year, such as the Canadian figure skating championship, the Canadian video game awards, the 2017 Juno Awards and the introduction of a new art gallery.

The mayor also discussed the city’s 2018 plans for light rail transit system. With the slogan “On track 2018,” the system aims to provide Ottawa residents with smoother more efficient travel says the mayor.

Phase One of the system is set to run from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station, with stops at Lebreton Flats, Queen Street, and Rideau Centre.

Phase Two will target Bayshore mall to Trim road, with stops at Algonquin and the Ottawa airport. The mayor expressed the city’s desire to target all three educational institutions with the system.

Watson also touched on the proposal to bring the Canadian Tire centre downtown, as well as the Ottawa River action plan, which aims to stop pollutants from going into the river. The city hopes to build storage tanks that will collect water when it rains to contain rainwater pollutants.

Watson says the city is expecting 1.7 million visitors between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. 2017 and is therefore constantly seeking volunteers. All who are interested can contact the City of Ottawa for more information at