Ottawa Election Primer, the final five
In a final instalment in the series, the candidates in the last of the 23 wards will be profiled. The final five wards are River, Gloucester-Southgate, Kitchissippi, Kanata South and Rideau-Rockcliffe.
Of the wards where a sitting councillor is seeking re-election, River Ward is where I think the likelihood of an incumbent not returning to City Hall will happen. Riley Brockington won the ward in 2014 with 36% of the vote in a field split by nine other candidates. This time around Riley faces only three challengers; Fabien Kalala, Kerrie Keith and Hassib Reda. My comments aren’t because Brockington hasn’t worked in the community, indeed he has to make roads safer as he has been a loud voice to reduce speeds in front of schools. My thoughts are due to the quality of candidates he is facing.
All three challengers bring good ideas to the campaign; Fabien, from viewing his priorities, is presenting a socio-economic platform; Hassib has a platform that addresses traditional municipal concerns plus adds banning single use plastics and re-pricing transit fares (to the point of making OC Transpo a money losing city operation). Kerrie Keith has presented a couple of priorities in her blog. She cites (so far) safe streets and planning around the new Civic hospital site, however she also stresses her use of an electric car and being cycle commuter being reasons to vote for her. If I lived in River ward it wouldn’t convince me to vote for her.
River Ward will be an interesting race, the debates will be where the race will be won or lost so if you live in River Ward don’t miss a single one.
All though it never rose above a rumour, Diane Deans’ look at the running for the Mayor’s chair never took place. But like Tobi Nussbaum in Rideau-Rockcliffe, Deans has found her voice against the ‘what Jim Watson wants, Jim Watson gets’ city leadership and it might be enough to give her an 8thterm on City Council. Her four qualified opponents know just what they are up against. My hope is that Alek Golijanin, Sam Soucy, Robert Swaita and Perry Sabourin learn from this campaign because 2022 just might be the year Deans’ decides to run for Mayor.
In a ward where the sitting Councillor has been bounced after one term for the past four elections, Jeff Leiper may have found the secret to re-election. Be one with the community. He faces one other candidate, Daniel Stringer who ran in previous elections but he poses no threat to Jeff Leiper. With a stronger candidate who would promise to battle developers, as Leiper did in 2014, Leiper might have faced the same fate as Katherine Hobbs and Christine Leadman before him. Alas, Leiper will have four more years to truly battle developers.
If you look at the ward map for Kanata South the one thing that strikes you is just how residentially heavy the ward is. Allan Hubley has been councillor since 2010. and he easily won re-election in 2014.
Issues in Kanata South, are repeated by all four candidates; roads, infrastructure, Transit/LRT and policing. There are nuances from each. Hubley promises to continue to the positive change in parks, roads and infrastructure. Doug Large preaches the 4 R’s; River, Roads, Recreation and Responsibility. Looking to be the ‘community’ candidate Steve Anderson promises to bring a BIA to Kanata South and empower community associations to have a bigger impact on the lives of Kanata South families. The third challenger is Mike Brown and he is campaigning on better care for Kanata South roads and wants to see greater accountability at city hall for the spending of tax dollars. Brown is the only candidate that seems to think that 2% tax increases are not viable and wants to review tax increases and evaluate how those tax dollars are allocated in the city budget.
While I haven’t heard much of a roar for change for Kanata South, but that doesn’t mean Hubley is a sure thing. Anderson, Brown and Large will have to work hard though to take the seat from the incumbent Allan Hubley.
Another one on one ballot battle is taking place in Rideau-Rockcliffe and also another ballot that see the sitting councillor win re-election. Councillor Tobi Nussbaum has been a loud advocate for following the city’s development rules and respecting community design plans and respecting a community’s voice. I thought Nussbaum might be a one-term councillor only because I thought he would give a run at Watson for the Mayor’s chair this year.
Nussbaum’s lone competitor, Peter Heyck may only catch on in the Ward due to his objection to the move of the Salvation Army out of the Byward Market to Montreal Rd but it will not be enough to win.
In the end Nussbaum will take this because he unlike many others around the council table has lost his battles to Jim Watson – but at least he stood up and tried – voters like a person who stands up for what he believes in.
I hope you enjoyed reading this series of posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you. More posts about the Ottawa election are coming. If you have any questions or comments or as a candidate would like a profile on this blog please contact me.