Ottawa elects a new mayor from Wellington West

By Charlie Senack

It was a historic night in Ottawa on Oct. 24 as residents got set to elect a new Mayor and 11 new city councillors.

While the Kitchissippi ward council seat will remain the same, a new but familiar face will sit in the Mayor’s chair. 

Mark Sutcliffe, who co-founded Great River Media in 2003, won the Mayoral race with 51 per cent of the vote. The Kitchissippi Times and Ottawa Business Journal founder received 161,679 ballots cast under his name. 

“I am feeling a lot of emotions right now. Humility, excitement, joy, relief. But most of all I am feeling incredible gratitude,” Sutcliffe said in his victory speech. 

“As I said on the day I announced that I was running, I love Ottawa and that’s never been more true than today,” he added. “Not because of this outcome of the election, but because of the thousands of people I’ve met during the campaign who have reminded me what a wonderful, kind, caring, diverse community we live in.”

The change in city leadership came after Jim Watson announced he would be leaving city hall after 12 years as Mayor. 

A man and woman take a selfie on a sunny day. They are wearing “I voted” stickers
Mark Sutcliffe, alongside his wife Ginny, have been residents of Kitchissippi for decades. Mark Sutcliffe Twitter photo

Sutcliffe, a journalist and radio personality who has lived in the Kitchissippi area for 24 years, was up against 13 other challengers all eyeing the top city job. 

Outgoing Somerset ward councillor Catherine McKenney came in second with almost 38 per cent of the vote, and former Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli came in third place with five per cent of the vote.

“This is not the result we had hoped for. It is tough and disappointing, but we are going to move forward,” McKenney said in their final campaign speech. “Tomorrow we will get back up and keep working to create the city we deserve.”

All incumbents who sought re-election kept their seats, but some wards saw close races. A total of 11 new faces will sit around the council table – all have varying ideas and come from different backgrounds.

Voter turnout was 43.79 per cent in Ottawa – the highest seen since the municipal race in 2010. In Kitchissippi ward, 53 per cent of the eligible 29,621 voters cast their ballots.

The new Mayor and council will officially be sworn in on Nov. 15.

Here is a look at who was elected school board trustees in Kitchissippi (Ward 15) zones:

In the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board – Zone 4 (Wards 07, 15), Suzanne Nash was elected trustee with 67 per cent of the vote.

In the Ottawa Catholic School Board – Zone 7 (Wards 07, 15), Jeremy Wittet was elected trustee with 68 per cent of the vote.

In the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est – Zone 6 (Wards 12, 14, 15, 17) , Denis Forget won the trustee’s race with 82 per cent of the vote.

And in the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario – Zone 9 (Wards 14, 15, 17, 18) Joël Beddows won the trustee’s race with 48 per cent of the vote.

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