Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ottawa has voted for change, in a very big way. Voters said no thanks to six incumbents who were seeking re-election. They said yes to 10 new faces. That's an unprecedented turnover in this post-amalgamation city. Some of them are young and fresh (hello Mathieu Fleury). Some are neither young nor fresh (hello again Peter Clark), but will bring valuable experience to the horseshoe. As a group, this council may have tilted just a bit towards the conservative edge of the spectrum, especially with the loss of such left-leaning stalwarts as Doucet, Legendre and Bedard. But it's just a tilt, not a shift. As a group, they are bound to get along better than the previous council. More important, they're bound to get things done.
Jim Watson says his first order of business is meeting with each and every one of his council colleagues. His second is to meet with Larry O'Brien. Both men are being gracious about it, but this is more tradition than useful exercise. The new mayor can't have much to learn from the old one. Then it's on to the budget, the first real test of his leadership, and his first opportunity to prove this city has turned a corner.
This will be the final entry here, but watch for the new CBC blog, @cityhall (at least that's what I'm calling it for now). Thanks for reading, it's been a pleasure.