New Ottawa city council sworn in Monday night
7 p.m. ceremony at Centrepointe Theatre featured 8 new faces on council
A new political term began at Ottawa city council starting Monday, as returning mayor Jim Watson and 23 city councillors were sworn in at a ceremony at Centrepointe Theatre.
The new council officially began its term at midnight on Dec. 1 and will get down to business on Wednesday for a special council meeting to approve the 2014-2018 council governance review — essentially the framework for how the council will make decisions over the next four years.
Eight councillors will begin their first term at city hall:
- Jody Mitic in Innes, who replaces Rainer Bloess.
- George Darouze in Osgoode, who replaces Doug Thompson.
- Michael Qaqish in Gloucester-South Nepean, who replaces Steve Desroches.
- Jean Cloutier in Alta Vista, who replaces Peter Hume.
- Catherine McKenney in Somerset, who replaces Diane Holmes.
- Riley Brockington in River, who replaces Maria McRae.
- Jeff Leiper in Kitchissippi, who defeated Katherine Hobbs.
- Tobi Nussbaum in Rideau-Rockcliffe, who defeated Peter Clark.
For some, like McKenney, who worked for her predecessor Holmes, as well as Alex Munter and deputy city manager Steve Kanellakos, city hall is familiar.
"Just to see my name on that list of voters, I thought here we go, the training wheels are coming off," she said.
Busy December ahead
After this week's council meeting, another regular meeting is scheduled for next week, and council members will be busy sorting out committee and board memberships before Christmas.
Councillors will then have to weigh in on the budget, with mayor Watson looking for councillor support for his plan to cap property tax increases at two per cent.
Appearing on Ottawa Morning Monday, McKenney, Darouze and Cloutier all said they are willing to work with the mayor but say they want to see what that two per cent cap means to services before signing on.
On Monday evening, however, the focus was on the ceremony.
Leiper said he was looking forward to it.
"I think it's going to be a little bit overwhelming. A lot of gratitude. I'll have something like 30 guests who are coming into the room to watch me be sworn in, and it's going to be a celebration for all of us."