Mayor Watson, seven new councillors elected in Ottawa 2018 vote

Watson
Mayor Jim Watson file photo.

In his third straight term as mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson will work with a crop of fresh faces after voters in seven wards picked new councillors in the 2018 municipal election.

Incumbents lost out in three races across Ottawa on Monday night: Glen Gower defeated Shad Qadri in Stittsville with 58 per cent of the vote; former broadcaster Carol Anne Meehan edged out Michael Qaqish in Gloucester-South Nepean by 500 votes; and incumbent David Chernushenko placed third in Capital ward, ultimately losing his seat to Shawn Menard.

Four newcomers took advantage of vacant seats to make their move to council. In Kanata North, Jenna Sudds will replace political veteran Marianne Wilkinson. The inaugural executive director of the Kanata North Business Association defeated Matt Muirhead and former Ottawa Champions president David Gourlay, taking 47 per cent of the vote.

Vacant seats in Orléans, Innes and Bay wards were won by Matthew Luloff, Laura Dudas and Theresa Kavanagh, respectively.

The new council, which officially takes office on Dec. 1, will see seven women seated around the table, three more than the previous term.

Three-peat for Watson

Watson will return to lead city council for a third consecutive mandate and his fourth overall including a 1997-2000 run pre-amalgamation. The mayor-elect defeated closest rival Clive Doucet by taking 71 per cent of the vote.

“Ladies and gentleman, I love Ottawa!” Watson told cheering supporters in a victory speech at his campaign headquarters just before 8:40 on Monday evening. He went on to thank his team and choked up slightly when noting that his recently deceased parents couldn’t be there with him.

The long-serving mayor also embraced the responsibility of running the fourth successful mayoral election campaign of his career.

“I know that I am a tenant of that office, and I must earn the right every four years through your trust and confidence to remain in that very special office,” he said.

Watson’s share of the vote took a slight dip from the 76 per cent he earned in 2014. Earlier this year, the annual Ottawa Business Growth Survey reported Watson has 51 per cent approval from those surveyed in the local business community.

Watson made a few key promises on the campaign trail this year, including capping tax increases at three per cent and making affordable housing along the light-rail transit line a priority.

Watson’s 2018 campaign promises:

  • Cap annual tax increases at between two and three per cent

  • Increase municipal funding for Invest Ottawa from $4.3 million to $4.8 million

  • Increase the annual budget of the Ottawa Film Office by $60,000 to $350,000

  • Reduce the city’s patio encroachment fees paid by bars and restaurants by 50 per cent at a cost of $280,000

  • Secure new affordable housing developments near rapid transit by increasing the amount of city land available to build new units

  • Press the provincial government to pass regulations that allow festival organizers to use public safety professionals – rather than police officers – at special events

  • Appoint a council liaison on women’s issues in an effort to increase representation on agency boards and advisory committees

Full list of 2018 municipal election winners: (*notes new councillor)

Mayor: Jim Watson

Orléans: Matthew Luloff*

Innes: Laura Dudas*

Barrhaven: Jan Harder

Kanata North: Jenna Sudds*

West Carleton-March: Eli El-Chantiry

Stittsville: Glen Gower*

Bay: Theresa Kavanagh*

College: Rick Chiarelli

Knoxdale-Merivale: Keith Egli

Gloucester-Southgate: Diane Deans

Beacon Hill-Cyrville: Tim Tierney

Rideau-Vanier: Mathieu Fleury

Rideau-Rockcliffe: Tobi Nussbaum

Somerset: Catherine McKenney

Kitchissippi: Jeff Leiper

River: Riley Brockington

Capital: Shawn Menard*

Alta Vista: Jean Cloutier

Cumberland: Stephen Blais

Osgoode: George Darouze

Rideau-Goulbourn: Scott Moffatt

Gloucester-South Nepean: Carol Anne Meehan*

Kanata South: Allan Hubley