The race for next fall’s municipal election officially began on May 2 with the opening of the nomination process. Across Ottawa, there are eight open seats up for grabs on city council, plus the mayor’s chair thanks to a slew of retirements. Fortunately, here in the east end all four local councillors are running for re-election.
Change simply for the sake of change is never a good thing. It’s one of the reasons why term limits are a bad idea. While term limits may seem like a good idea when your elected representative is doing a bad job, it’s a terrible idea if you happen to have an effective representative who is doing a great job. As I always like to say when debating proponents of term limits – be careful what you wish for.
In Tim Tierney, Laura Dudas, Matt Luloff and Catherine Kitts, east end resident have four extremely effective city councillors who have the best interests of their constituents at heart and work together to get the east end’s fair share when it comes to city services.
One of the reasons why all four councillors are so effective is their respective staff – the people who work behind the scenes to help address issues brought forward by their constituents. All four incumbents in the east end are blessed with excellent executive assistants. A city councillor’s staff can often be taken for granted, but trust me, a good executive assistant is worth their weight in gold.
I’ve been covering municipal politics in Orléans for over 30 years now. I’ve seen a lot of city councillors and their staff come and go and I can honestly say that I have never dealt with a collection of staff who are better at their jobs than the group we have now.
This editorial is not meant to be an official endorsement of any of the current incumbents. It is merely an opportunity to acknowledge the job they have done in the past and continue to do, which is good enough to deserve another term. Any actual endorsement will have to wait until they articulate their position on the role of the Ottawa Board of Health and the Chief Medical Officer in future pandemics vis à vis city council.
During the past two years, city council has been silent on the subject of the pandemic. They had very little if any say in when or how the COVID restrictions were imposed in Ottawa. This was largely because of provincial legislation which allows the health boards and local health units to operate independently from city council. So much so that trying to get answers to even the simplest of questions left many city councillors wanting to pull their hair out. This has to change and it has to start with councillors demanding better.
Other issues that need to be addressed during the election are the future of the downtown core, the continued redevelopment of St. Joseph Blvd. and traffic, transit and transportation links needed to accommodate the growing population south of Innes Road.