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Councillors (mostly) steer clear of provincial race

Mayor Jim Watson isn't the only one with incomplete survey results to show off today. I too have been asking questions, and getting very few answers.

One week ago I asked every Ottawa city councillor the following questions:

1. Are you officially endorsing a candidate or candidates in the upcoming provincial election? If so, which one(s)?

2. Why are you endorsing that/those particular candidate(s)?

3. Apart from offering your endorsement, are you helping out with that candidate's campaign (canvassing, calling, fundraising or advising)?

Nine councillors responded, either by e-mail or phone. Of those, four -- Steve Desroches, Keith Egli, Eli El-Chantiry, and Katherine Hobbs -- answer all three questions with an emphatic "no." Hobbs says she'll be "pleased to work with whomever the voters of Ottawa Centre and other ridings elect." Desroches explains: "I believe that my residents expect me to work with all levels of government, regardless of their political stripes. For example, many infrastructure projects in my ward have been accomplished as a result of solid collaboration with Queen's Park and Parliament Hill."

Peter Clark's response is a bit vague. He says he's not endorsing candidates, "but would support Randall Denley and Madeleine Meilleur." Here's a man who votes for the politician, not the party.

That leaves those councillors who are throwing their weight behind certain candidates. Rainer Bloess and Bob Monette have already tipped their hands: They say they can no longer work with Ottawa-Orleans incumbent Phil McNeely, so they're doing whatever they can to get Progressive Conservative candidate Andrew Lister elected (see also my last blog entry).

Allan Hubley called to let me know he's been helping out on controversial PC candidate Jack MacLaren's campaign in Carleton-Mississippi Mills. That will pit Hubley against another Kanata councillor, Marianne Wilkinson, who says she's actively supporting Liberal challenger Megan Cornell. Wilkinson says she's known Cornell for some time, and has been impressed by her community service. "She knows the local issues and has been working on many of them," says Wilkinson. "She would be a very supportive and hard working member for us at Queen's Park." 


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