Ottawa Votes 2018

Municipal Election 2018

Peter Honeywell

On October 22, 2018, voters from across Ontario will be going to the polls to elect Mayors, Councilors and school board Trustees for the next four-year term.

There was a major disruption to Toronto’s election process when the province announced their decision to reduce the number of Toronto wards and align them with provincial riding boundaries, a reduction of 47 to 25. Premier Doug Ford spoke at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario convention held in Ottawa on August 20, 2018 and said that no other municipalities would be forced to realign in the near future. So for now Ottawa proceeds with our established 23 wards.

The Ottawa Race

As Ottawa moved toward the deadline for submitting candidate nominations at the end of the first sleepy phase of the campaign, it seemed fairly certain that three incumbent Councilors, Jody Mitic, Mark Taylor and Marianne Wilkinson were not running. But, as the July 27th date loomed, Bob Monette announced he was also stepping down. A flurry of activity took place in the final weeks of the nomination process resulting in a record 17 candidates in Monette’s Ward 1 - Orléans.

A number of other races saw late entries, such as former councilor Clive Doucet who threw his hat into the ring to run for Mayor bringing that contest to 12 individuals. Former CTV news anchor Carole Anne Meehan submitted a last-minute run against Michael Qaqish in Gloucester-South Nepean. In the end, there will be no acclaimed candidates for City Council. And numerous School Board races that had attracted single candidates saw renewed interest in late July resulting in a race in every Ottawa Carleton District School Board Zone.

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board however, the majority of positions were filled by acclamation.

What can you do?

All eligible voters are encouraged to cast their ballots on October 22, 2018.

Over the course of the campaign you may have the opportunity to meet candidates at City events or in your own neighbourhood. Introduce yourself. Identify your interest in the arts and let them know what is important for you.

As candidates come knocking at your door, this is your chance to express your opinions and ask questions. We know that issues related to transportation, housing, waste management and infrastructure repair will be widely debated. We hope to see consideration for the arts as part of the election discussion.

Here are some sample questions that can help to make the arts part of the political conversation.

Questions For City of Ottawa Candidates

  • What do you think are the most pressing issues for the arts in Ottawa over the next 4 years?
  • Are you or would you like to be involved in any specific arts events or initiatives in your ward?
  • Do you support an increased investment in the arts to improve our City’s social and economic wellbeing?
  • According to a 2017 City of Ottawa’s Economic Development report, over 51,000 people are employed in the culture and tourism sector in Ottawa. What steps can the City take to ensure that this sector remains healthy and what can we do to grow our local creative talent base?

 

Questions For School Board Trustee Candidates

  • How can you support increased attention to arts learning within the school curriculum?
  • How will you promote artist residencies; workshops and performances aimed at both primary and secondary levels within Ottawa schools?
  • Do you have any ideas that help to enrich arts experiences for students?