Applause for transit, housing cash in budget — but what about Phoenix?

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OC Transpo riders lament loss of transit credit

The 2017 federal budget includes a number of items that will affect people living and working in the National Capital Region, from funding for innovation to social housing and transit initiatives.

On Wednesday CBC reporters fanned across the city to gather reaction to the budget. Here's what we heard.

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

"Today's budget, the federal budget, is good news for the residents of Ottawa and the most significant part of the budget is a renewed federal commitment to infrastructure such as transit and affordable housing, two of our top priorities.

"I've been assured that the funding, 1.15 billion dollars we need to complete stage two of LRT, is in this budget. Now, we have to work with our federal partners to cross the T's and dot the I's over the coming months, so we can hit the ground running in May of this year with the [request for proposals]. This is great news for our city's future."

Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

"Their silence on Phoenix was truly deafening and of deep concern to public servants. They wanted some reassurances that the resources would be there, that whatever steps needed to be taken to right this wrong would be taken and that there would be support for that.

"I fail to see how they are going to put this ship back on the right course without having the resources to do so. We think they need more pay officers, they need more system support, some people to take over this project, so we don't remain handcuffed to IBM for the next 40 years."

Ray Sullivan, executive director of the Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation

"I'm hearing instantly from colleagues across the country that this is the most important housing budget in 25 years from the federal government, so it's very significant.

"One of the things that's most significant about this is that it's a long-time horizon. The problem that we've always had in managing social housing, in developing new social housing, is we get these short windows, a program that is on for three years and we don't know what's happening after that. Here's an 11-year commitment and we can plan based on that."

Chris Perram, CEO of FileFacets

"I'm incredibly encouraged, actually. One of the things that was most important to us as a tech industry in Ottawa was a concerted effort of not just solving tomorrow's problem and next year's problem and [so on], it's about today and what can the government do today to help us succeed, and one of the important things that they've included in this budget is that procurement program.

"They've done three things that will help me today grow, which is making it easier for them to buy my product, making it easier for me to hire the skilled talent that I need through better education programs and through better immigration policy and the investment for 18 months from now, 24 months from now that's going to be really critical, and they've nailed all three of those things."