Jim Watson will be Ottawa’s mayor for the next four years, allowing him to continue overseeing some of the major projects he began over the past two terms at the city’s helm.
With 748 of 759 polls reporting, Watson has 71.1 per cent of the vote, and leads his nearest challenger, Clive Doucet, by more than 129,000 votes.
Watson will now be poised to see his signature project — the light rail transit system — through to completion, and guide the $3-billion LRT extension in the works.
Watson, speaking in front of a crowd of supporters at the RA Centre Monday night, called the results “incredibly humbling and a great honour.”
With tears in his eyes, Watson talked about how this election was different because his parents, who both died during his last term in office, would not be able to share “in the joy of celebration.”
“Both my mother and father continue to be in my heart every day, and I hope to be able to continue to make them proud along this journey,” he said.
Speaking about the upcoming term, Watson said he looked forward to working together with the elected councillors.
“We get better results when local elected officials work as a team,” he said.
7 new faces on council
Watson can expect to see seven new faces on council: Laura Dudas in Innes, Jenna Sudds in Kanata North, Glen Gower in Stittsville, Theresa Kavanagh in Bay ward, Shawn Menard in Capital ward and Carol Anne Meehan in Gloucester-South Nepean and Matthew Luloff in Orléans.
Watson also campaigned to cap tax increases at three per cent — a rise from the two per cent cap he imposed last term — with the aim of using the money to fix roads and cover unexpected costs related to cannabis.
He also pledged to hire 75 more police officers and 56 more paramedics, and spend about $1 million on economic development.
Doucet, a former city councillor who previously ran for mayor in 2010, campaigned to lower transit fares, provide more affordable housing and bring more transparency to municipal government.
The other 10 candidates were:
- Hamid Alakozai
- Ahmed Bouragba
- Bernard Couchman
- Joey Drouin
- Ryan Lythall
- Craig MacAulay
- Bruce McConville
- Michael Pastien
- Moises Schachtler
- James T. Sheahan