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