Coun. Marianne Wilkinson calling it quits
Wilkinson entered municipal politics in 1970, became Kanata's 1st mayor in 1978
Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson has announced she's leaving municipal politics nearly 50 years after she was first elected.
Wilkinson made the announcement Tuesday at her annual International Women's Day breakfast.
"I've done most of the big things I wanted to," she said.
You've served <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kanata?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Kanata</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottcity?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottcity</a> very well over the years and your retirement is well-deserved. It's been a pleasure serving alongside you. <a href="https://t.co/CEOwMr8Myk">https://t.co/CEOwMr8Myk</a>—@Bob_Chiarelli
"Nothing frightens me more in my office than hearing, 'Marianne Wilkinson on line one,'" Mayor Jim Watson joked.
He described Wilkinson as a fierce advocate for Ottawa western suburbs.
Wilkinson's storied career in municipal politics in Kanata started shortly after she moved to the area. Within a year of arriving she had been elected as the first woman on the March Township Council. She had three children at the time, her youngest just four months old.
"I just sort of fell into it," Wilkinson said.
She would go on to become the first mayor of Kanata when the suburb was incorporated in 1978, then represent the area on Ottawa city council.
Wilkinson said she doesn't intend to step out of the public spotlight entirely, and plans to focus on special projects. In fact, stepping down from her elected role will allow her to be an even more outspoken advocate for local issues, she said.
"I think I can still do a lot in the community," she said.
Lots of love & appreciation for <a href="https://twitter.com/marianne4kanata?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@marianne4kanata</a> as she announces her retirement following this term of Council. I will miss her. She has been a strong friend and mentor.—@cmckenney
After her announcement, Wilkinson encouraged other women to take action and be the change in their own communities.
"If you think something isn't right, then not to do something about it is wrong," she told the crowd.
Wilkinson's retirement will officially begin after a new councillor is sworn in to represent Kanata North following the municipal election in October.
- A previous version of this story stated Marianne Wilkinson's replacement will be sworn in in October. In fact, the new city council will be sworn in in December.Mar 06, 2018 1:14 PM ET