Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Dec. 14


Team of the Month

Posted Dec. 4

Posted March 22

Posted March 16


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney


(Posted 10:30 a.m., Sept. 28)
Former Rainer Bloess assistant vies for Innes Ward seat
By Wade Morris

Municipal election candidate Donna Leith-Gudbranson hopes she can represent Innes Ward during the next four years.

The Chapel Hill South resident is fluently bilingual, and has been actively involved in the community for the better part of 25 years.

Although this is her first time running for city council, Leith-Gudbranson is no stranger to City Hall. In 2003, she chaired the campaign to reelect former Innes Ward councilor Rainer Bloess.

After the election, Leith-Gudbranson worked in Bloess’ office for six years, dealing mostly with resident issues and policy planning.

The popular former city councillor not only encouraged Leith-Gudbranson to run, he endorsed her campaign and has joined her on the hustings.

Prior to her registering for the election, Leith-Gudbranson worked in Beacon Hill, Cyrville councillor Tim Tierney’s office.

“When I went back to City Hall to work for Tim, I realized how much I missed the place,” says Leith-Gudbranson. “I see this as an opportunity to give back to my community.”

Leith-Gudbranson has a particular interest in economic development. If she were to get elected, she wants to organize a summit involving residents, stakeholders and local politicians with the goal of improving economic development opportunities in the east end.

“There’s an incredible window of opportunity over the next 10 to 15 years to turn Orléans into a vibrant, thriving destination,” Leith-Gudbranson says.

During the Oct. 6 debate between Innes Ward candidates, she described Phase 2 of LRT as “an excellent opportunity for St. Joseph Boulevard to be developed.”

“The two projects should go hand in hand,” says Leith-Gudbranson. “The LRT will make it easier for people to get to and from St. Joseph Blvd. We need to explore ways to revitalize and enhance the Main Street of Orléans as a commercial and retail destination.”

Leith-Gudbranson’s platform includes organizing an annual youth forum and championing expansion of community programming for seniors. She also supports implementing additional traffic calming measures, where warranted, in the ward, and she wants to follow up on plans to expand the Blackburn Arena.

Leith-Gudbranson is lined up with the other three candidates running in the ward in supporting a proposal to extend Brian Coburn Blvd. to Anderson Road – something Bradley Estate residents have been pushing for since the last election.

Outgoing Innes Ward councillor, Jody Mitic, was able to get the proposed extension included in an Environmental Assessment of potential road improvements in the area last year.

Leith-Gudbranson has held several positions in community organizations. She served as president of the Chapel Hill South Community Association for three years, and was vice-president for seven years prior to that. She was the president of the school council at L’École élémentaire publique Le Prélude in Chapel Hill South for 10 years. She also held a position on the board of directors of the Friends of Mer Bleue, an organization supporting environmental issues surrounding the Mer Bleue Bog.

In 2009, Leith-Gudbranson began working in the University of Ottawa’s Department of Family Medicine. She was the regional co-chair of the fundraising committee for Canadian Blood Services’ National Public Cord Blood Bank between 2013 and 2016.

Leith-Gudbranson and her husband Wayne have four children Erik (26), Alex (23), Dennis (20) and Chantal (18). Dennis is a cancer survivor, having received a stem cell transplant in 2005 at the age of eight. It was that experience and the heart-warming way in which the community came to the family’s support that is one of the motivating factors in her wanting to serve on city council.

“The Orléans community has given so much to my family, in so many ways: education, sports and community care when one of my sons was critically ill. With my adult children off successfully pursuing and living their own dreams, it is now time to give back,” says Leith-Gudbranson.

The other three candidates running for city council in Innes Ward are Laura Dudas, François Trépanier and Tammy Lynch. Ottawa residents will head to the polls on Oct. 22. Advance polls will be held from Oct. 4-7 and on Oct. 12.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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