Ottawa·ELECTION 2018

Meet your candidates for Ottawa mayor

Twelve candidates registered by the end of July. One is the incumbent, another is a former city councillor and one hasn't been heard from since he signed up.

Incumbent Jim Watson and former city councillor Clive Doucet considered front-runners

Twelve people are hoping to wear the mayor's chain of office for the next council term. (

Although there are an even dozen candidates in the race for mayor in this fall's election, few of them are running what one might consider a full-fledged campaign.

Two-time incumbent Jim Watson is clearly well-organized, with hundreds of supporters showing up to his campaign rally and first election promise in September.

Challenger and former councillor Clive Doucet doesn't appear to have anywhere near the same political organization, but he does have an HQ — oddly, just a few blocks from Watson's — signs, volunteers and, most important, campaign promises: all the trappings of an actual election campaign. 

Most candidates have websites; few have signs or other visible evidence of widespread support.

Whose platform is the most appealing or realistic is, of course, up to you. We try to help you make your decisions by attending as many debates as possible, covering news conferences and fact-checking campaign promises. There will be more of that in the final two weeks of the campaign. 

But you'll also want to hear from candidates directly. To that end, we invited all of them to fill out our questionnaire. Only Bernard Couchman and James Sheahan (who has never provided any contact information) didn't answer the survey.

The questionnaire is not meant to provide a comprehensive look at the candidates' platforms, but it's a place to start. The questionnaires have been posted as they were submitted. We've also included links to all of the candidates' platforms.

So with just a couple of weeks before you need to mark your ballot, meet your candidates for mayor.

Hamid Alakozai

Hamid Alakozai may not be a familiar name in Ottawa, but he says he had been asked to consider running for president of Afghanistan back in 2011 — something he decided against, he told CBC News.

About five years ago, Alakozai was an advisor to the Afghan attorney general. He says he's lived in Ottawa for 13 years.

Ahmed Bouragba

Ahmed Bouragba ran unsuccessfully to be a trustree in the French public school board in 2014. He does not appear to have a website, claims corporations have undue influence at City Hall, and has said he wants "Ottawa to be the most beautiful flower in the Canadian garden."

Clive Doucet

Clive Doucet represented Capital ward from 1997 to 2010. In the final years of his tenure, he was perhaps best known for opposing the Lansdowne redevelopment. He entered the race on the last day possible because he said he wanted to make sure that issues were properly debated during the campaign. He ran for mayor in 2010 and came in third with a little less than 15 per cent of the vote.

Joey Drouin

Joey Drouin has never run for public office before, but is doing so this time to promote his idea that Ottawa and Gatineau should combine to form a single national capital region to, among other things, share resources and meld their transportation and social services.

Ryan Lythall

Ryan Lythall's central campaign theme is to make Ottawa more accessible, which includes improving ParaTranspo service. 

Craig MacAulay

Craig MacAulay ran for College ward councillor in 2010, where he garnered one per cent of the votes, and again in 2014 where his share of the votes rose to eight per cent. Among other issues, he is concerned about the involvement of developers in City Hall business and how councillors spend their office budgets.

Bruce McConville

Bruce McConville has been an active opponent of the Salvation Army's proposed 350-bed facility planned for Montreal Road. Stopping the development, and increasing the supply of affordable housing, is the central theme of his campaign. He has run unsuccessfully for councillor in Rideau-Vanier ward in 2003 and 2006.

Michael Pastien

Michael Pastien, who calls himself a "futurist", wants to create a 100-year infrastructure plan. He ran unsuccessfully for public school board trustee in 2010 and for Bay ward councillor in 2014. 

Moises Schachtler

Moises Schachtler, the youngest candidate by far, is a former University of Ottawa student who is currently unemployed. His former experience in taking on the student union at the university led him to be interested in governance issues and to throw his hat into the mayoral candidacy ring.

Jim Watson

This will be Jim Watson's third consecutive time running for mayor after winning with 48 per cent of the vote in 2010 and a whopping 76 per cent in 2014.

But he was also the mayor of the pre-amalgamation City of Ottawa for three years. In the last eight years, Watson has overseen the construction of the first phase of LRT — which is currently delayed —and has lined up funding for the second phase. He has also overseen the Lansdowne redevelopment and the new Ottawa Art Gallery and approved a new central library.