Region Invests in a Growing Community

Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2023

Waterloo Region – The Region of Waterloo is investing in a growing community, as Council passed the 2023 Region of Waterloo Plan and Budget this evening.

The 2023 Plan and Budget increases and expands transit service, paramedic services, housing and homelessness supports, and accelerates initiatives to improve road safety for all users. It also balances affordability while maintaining essential services to one of the fastest growing communities in Canada.

The Region of Waterloo is facing many of the same pressures experienced by other municipalities throughout Ontario. Inflation, population growth, increasing and complex community needs have all contributed to a challenging budget.

The total 2023 operating and capital budget for Regional services, including costs for Waterloo Region Police Services, is $1.9 billion, which represents an average tax rate impact of 8.5%. This amounts to an annual increase of $187 for an average property, or $15.60 per month.

Today’s budget approval includes:

  • $163 million investment in housing and homelessness. This includes the continuation of the Interim Housing Strategy, increasing shelter capacity and accelerating new affordable housing developments, and a strategy to end chronic homelessness.
  • $240 million investment in transit. This includes increases to service hours by 5% to add additional weekend services, reduce crowding on routes, and restore University, College and iXpress routes back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • $36 million investment to tackle climate change. This includes expanding the active transportation network and greening infrastructure, assets and facilities.
  • $63 million for Paramedic Services. This includes purchasing four new ambulances, additional 12-hour shifts, and hiring 20 new paramedics.
  • $12.6 million to improve road safety. This includes increased automated speed enforcement by adding eight new locations, increasing funding for signage and pavement markers and winter maintenance measures.
  • $147.1 million investment in the regional road network. This includes modernizing traffic signals, street light upgrades, new sidewalks, roundabouts, and active transportation facilities.
  • $40 million investment in the Region of Waterloo International Airport. This includes investments in parking, baggage handling, and additional airport firetrucks.

More information on the 2023 Plan and Budget process is available online at  


“Delivering essential services to residents is the cornerstone of regional government. The budget approved by Council makes key investments in services 630,000 people depend on daily. These are essential services like housing, transit, roads, waste, and paramedic services. These investments in community matter and our community could not thrive without them.

“Without question, this has been a challenging budget. It’s not just the Region of Waterloo that’s experiencing an increase in costs. Households and residents across the Region are experiencing it too. Gas has increased dramatically, inflation has risen and has impacted almost everybody.

“As Council, we rolled up our sleeves, prioritized what we heard from residents and aimed to balance these priorities with affordability. Ultimately, we approved an annual increase of $192 for the average property, or $16 a month, allowing us to provide the critical and essential services that our residents need.”

- Michael Harris, Chair of Administration and Finance Committee and Regional Councillor


“I want to acknowledge the extensive input of residents and community partners throughout this budget, as well as the hard work of our dedicated staff. The budget approved this evening by Council helps balance affordability, deliver essential services to residents, and continues to build a community where people want to live, work, and play.

“This budget sets the stage for important conversations ahead around areas like transit, housing and infrastructure. I am excited to work with our residents and this council to continue to build this community throughout the year.”

- Karen Redman, Regional Chair


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