Election 2014 is over and the winners are…
The Ottawa Municipal Election is over for another year. Congratulations to all the winners. And for all those who didn’t win but ran a full and honest campaign, take heart, there will be another election in 2018 at which time, you can build upon you voter base if you so choose.
So let’s look at the winners and their constituencies:
Mayor - Looking back at this election, it is no surprise Jim Watson was easily re-elected as Ottawa’s mayor. He ran a nearly flawless campaign that included a vast array of traditional tactics as well as a impressive social network outreach. Mike McGuire also ran a good and strong campaign but his message is one that has proven time and time again only resonates with a small portion of the Ottawa electorate. Strong fiscal conservatives need to find a different way to discuss their vision with voters.
Ward 1 Orléans – Bob Monette easily beat back his challenge from two other candidates. This now senior member of council continues to bring the goodies to the residents of his ward.
Ward 2 Innes – Jody Mitic, a former Amazing Race second placer claimed first place in this race. I’m counting on Jody to draw on his military background to fight off the assimilation tendencies of all well intentioned newbies to City Hall.
Ward 3 Barrhaven – Jan Harder could have slept walked her way through this election. Let’s hope she becomes more of a force to contend with as opposed to the possum of the last four years.
Ward 4 Kanata North - Well, Marianne Wilkinson has proven that there were people in her ward that wanted her back. Marianne is a proven politician so with two strong challengers, the math worked to her advantage. But I gotta ask…Are you going to retire for real after this term?
Ward 5 West Carleton-March - Eli El-Chantiry, as expected, is the winner. This consistent and thoughtful councillor will, I am hopeful, continue on as Chair of OPS.
Ward 6 Stittsville - Shad Qadri won re-election in Stittsville. After almost being acclaimed, the last minute entrant wasn’t able to mount a serious campaign against an incumbent. Shad is one of the most responsive councillors and I like that.
Ward 7 Bay – Mark Taylor beat, for the second time, Alex Cullen in this exciting and colourful ward race (if I see another purple shirt, it will be too soon). Mark’s win however, wasn’t a cake walk. He had to earn this win. The good thing for Bay Ward residents is that when Mark wins, you get a twofer…his wife, Christine, arguably does as much for the ward as he does.
Ward 8 College – Rick Chiarelli does it again. This is his 143rd win I think. Rick has been at City Hall as an elected official since 1991. Definitely a wealth of institutional knowledge for sure but you know I’m gonna ask…
Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale – Keith Egli was elected a second time in this ward. The first timer was able to get out his vote. With a 72.2% vote, I’d say he easily won a second term.
Ward 10 Gloucester-Southgate –Diane Deans swept by media darling Lilly Obina is what clearly shows the advantage an incumbent has over their challengers. Unless an incumbent really screws up and riles the residents against him or her, they’re pretty much unbeatable. However, since Diane was elected in 1994, she may want to do something else in four years which will make ward 10 an open ward.
Ward 11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville – If you think Jim Watson’s win was impressive, Tim Tierney was re-elected with an gigantic 82.1% vote against four challengers. I should have seen this coming though. None of his challengers showed up for the Rogers debate and likewise, none of their respective voters showed up to vote. Karma!
Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier – Mathieu Fleury, one of the young stars of the outgoing council, won his seat again by just 2,000 votes. But that must be a very comforting feeling compared to the 88 vote margin with which he squeaked by in 2010. Beau travail monsieur!
Ward 13 Rideau-Rockcliffe – Awesome job Mr. Tobi Nussbaum for successfully knocking off one of the most controversial councillors councilors from the 2010 election. Clearly your campaign reached out to this very diverse ward and has given them hope that you will address the needs of all the residents there.
Ward 14 Somerset – Catherine McKenney won in one of the most competitive open wards. Somerset should be happy to have elected such a capable woman with a deep background in city politics. The best quote in the campaign from a voter came from a Somerset resident who said something along the lines of “I wish all the candidates in Somerset Ward could run in different wards so they all could win”.
Ward 15 Kitchissippi – In one of the two wards where a woman was replaced by a man, Jeff Leiper won with a well run and oiled campaign machine. He needed this to replace an incumbent who struggled from day one in her job as councillor. Jeff will bring an invigorating style to a ward which has many developer/resident issues that need a fair hand to resolve.
Ward 16 River – The winner in my favourite ward was Riley Brockington. This twice elected school board trustee brings some good financial credentials to city hall. As he said in his campaign, he will pour over the budget in detail to help improve where possible. Riley will help bring an end to Orgaworld type contracts. Here! Here! Good luck Riley.
Ward 17 Capital – David Chernuschenko won again in Capital. This solid environmentalist should be handed the reins to the vacated Environment committee. Hope the mayor agrees with me on this one.
Ward 18 Alta Vista – Jean Cloutier is another outgoing incumbent endorsed winner. His strong relationship with the communities and people in his ward allowed him to capture this seat. A strong but fresh voice for Alta Vista ward will be welcome at City Hall.
Ward 19 Cumberland – Welcome back former newbie Stephen Blais. A solid firm term lead to his re-election for sure. I will eagerly follow the first council meeting of the new councillors to see Stephen’s first vote and press release.
Ward 20 Osgoode - George Darouze won this competitive open ward. His campaign was disciplined and positive. This entrepreneur/businessman will be a breath of fresh air around the council table asking the questions that need to be asked either in public forums or in in-camera sessions.
Ward 21 Rideau-Goulbourn – I’m glad to see Scott Moffat returned to City Hall. Clearly, the voters in his ward have many more odd jobs for the sitting councillor to tackle, pro-bono I would expect.
Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean – With the election of Michael Qaqish to city council, Ottawa must hold the world record with the most councillors whose last name starts with a ‘Q’ and it not followed by a ‘U’. Michael knew his ward issues and where the votes were due to his experience in the ward. Working with Steve Desroches is as good a learning experience that any young politician could want.
Ward 23 Kanata South – Congratulations Allan Hubley of your win. Continue doing what you’ve been doing. It benefits not only your word but Ottawa as a whole.