Ottawa Election Primer; 6/24 Seats
Nominations have closed across Ontario for Municipal Elections on October 22nd.
In Ottawa there were a few more names added to the list of candidates vying to fill one of the 24 seats around the Council Table before the deadline came and passed. I’ll take a look at a few of the 24 races now and as the weeks approach voting day I’ll have the opportunity to take a look at all 24 races and perhaps make a few predictions. Today, I'll take a look at 5 ward races and the race for the Mayor’s chain.
There are 12 people running to be Ottawa's Mayor, but I'll make it easy for you - there are only three names you need to pay attention to. He was as close to being acclaimed as a person can be with 9 unrecognizable names running against him. With nominations closing former Councillor and ex-mayor candidate Clive Doucet signed up to challenge Watson and is hoping for better result than in 2014.
The final challenger is Bruce McConville a former challenger in Rideau-Rockcliffe against the former Councillor Georges Bedard. McConville. He came within 200 votes of winning in 2006, a mere .72% difference in votes and against a 'legend' of Vanier politics.
McConville is a Vanier business owner, but more importantly he was part of SOS Vanier's (read my post about SOS Vanier here Battle for Vanier) fight to prevent the Salvation Army from relocating to Montreal Rd., he is now going to take his fight to the voters of Ottawa and City Hall. He has come out swinging and has stated he will make affordable housing and homelessness an issue all voters in Ottawa should hear about.
Watson is the front-runner, but the election for the next Mayor of Ottawa just got interesting. Progressives in Ottawa now have their wishes filled, there is a mayoral candidate to make housing and homelessness a major policy issue; will they embrace Bruce McConville in this election?
The retirement of Bob Monette has created a stampede to the Elections Ottawa registration desk with 17 candidates lining up. 11 men and 6 women want to be the Councillor of Ward 1. The good news is that the winner will likely need only 20% of the vote to win. The bad news is with 17 people in the running getting to 20% will be a challenge. This ward isliterallya toss up.
For whatever reason Rick Chiarelli waited until the last week to register to seek re-election. I know that Chiarelli is extremely popular, but has he over stayed his welcome? There are two credible opponents this time; Emilie Coyle a lawyer and Director of the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program; and Ryan Kennery a former advisor to Mayor Watson. Chiarelli and his delayed registration may have cast doubts in the minds of the voters of College Ward of his desire to continue in his position.
I am never one to consider that a Chiarelli is ever out of an election race, but in 2018, the voters may have taken Chiarelli's delay in registering as a sign and College Ward residents might be looking for a change.
Tim Tierney was hours from being acclaimed for his third term on Council. The last minute addition of a second candidate will not change the outcome of the voting in Beacon Hill-Cyrville.
Will this be a case of the staffer becomes the Councillor or will the Councillor take the Staffer to the woodshed? Councillor Scott Moffatt has held this seat since 2010. The interesting aspect of this race is that David Brown worked with Moffatt. Both candidates have the experience of working the Ward issues. This race will come down to whether Rideau-Goulbourn voters feel that Moffatt has served them well and deserves another term. I give the advantage to Scott Moffatt.
Like Beacon Hill-Cyrville, Gloucester-South Nepean was almost an acclamation for sitting Councillor Michael Qaqish. Something happened on the way to the 2pm nomination day deadline, four challengers appeared, including a high profile candidate – former Ottawa CTV News Anchor Carol Anne Meehan. Since she was let go by CTV Ottawa she has kept her profile high through a blog and a short stint on 1310 News with her own radio show. If Meehan can translate her popularity to votes she could have a new job October 23rd; if not, Qaqish wins. This will be a race to watch.