Winners, Losers and the 2018 Municipal Election

By all accounts, Innes Coun. Jody Mitic is loving his new gig and has every intention of running again. Why wouldn’t he? Now on his second book tour, Mitic enjoys the trappings of being a city councillor. Unfortunately, Mitic often appears confused on many of the issues in front of him at council. One of his former opponents – community activist Laura Dudas continues to work hard in her community for the residents. It’s tough to take on an incumbent, but here’s hoping Dudas gives it some serious thought.

Here’s another city councillor who enjoys his city expense account. Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney was one of those candidates who ran in 2010 vowing to only serve two terms. He didn’t mean it at the time and he’ll be breaking his word to his residents when he runs again. Despite that, it should be a relatively easy win. To his credit, he is out and about in his community, most often with his wife Jenny – whom many believe is the real brains behind his candidacy.

Bay Coun. Mark Taylor also pledged to his residents to only run for two terms. As a testament to his character, he’s planning on keeping his word. Good for him. Rumours about this ward suggest we could see a battle of the Bay ward spouses, with talk of Taylor’s wife Christine Taylor putting her name on the ballot. School board trustee Theresa Kavanagh, the wife of former Bay councillor Alex Cullen, should also be in the running. Fascinating!

With many expecting that Bob Chiarelli might leave his role as the MPP in Ottawa West-Nepean, it was thought the outgoing Taylor would be the heir apparent. Of course, Taylor would likely have to wrestle for the nomination against College Coun. Rick Chiarelli (also cousin to Bob). Despite Bob Chiarelli’s pronouncement’s to the contrary, not everyone believes his name will be on a provincial ballot.

If you’re a betting person, put your money on Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder running again. And barring any major catastrophe, if her name is on the ballot, she’ll end up on top. Harder is a hard-working councillor who manages to both serve the city and her residents. She’s never faced any tough competition for the job and it’s not expected she will in 2018.

The same can be said for Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans. While she has indicated in the past an interest to serve at other levels of government, it has never distracted her from staying on top of ward issues and she’s one of the best voices on council with a citywide concern for the city.

College Coun. Rick Chiarelli is another hard-working councillor who hasn’t faced any strong challengers during his time at council. Like Deans, he’s looked outside municipal politics, but all signs suggest he’ll be on the ballot municipally again in 2018. He works hard in his ward and enjoys needling Mayor Jim Watson, which isn’t such a bad thing!

Orleans Coun. Bob Monette already broke his commitment to two terms, and his residents didn’t care and voted to keep him. A straight shooter, Monette stays on top of his ward and has played a leading role on several big city projects, notably playing a leading role in bringing the CFL back to Ottawa. You can expect him to be back.

In Gloucester-South Nepean, (the ward I ran in and lost) Coun. Michael Qaqish is feeling the heat of someone breathing down his neck. Former city councillor Steve Desroches, a rarity around council for honouring his pledge to only run for two terms in a row, is being encouraged to run again. He was a well-respected and hard-working councillor and if he throws his hat into the ring, and here’s hoping he does, Qaqish could find himself on the losing end of that battle.

Osgoode Coun. George Darouze ended up on top of a busy field of candidates with the help of outgoing councillor Doug Thompson by his side. Seems Thompson has lost faith in his protege and has been heard musing about a return to politics. Thompson has owned the hearts in Osgoode for years, would be a fabulous battle.

Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley isn’t council’s brightest light. Nor does he rank in the top 20 hardest working councillors. Can he be beat? Fingers crossed.

Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper is a solid ward councillor, but representing this volatile ward isn’t easy and making predictions in this diverse ward months ahead of an election is just futile.

Much the same can be said of Rideau-Vanier where Mathieu Fleury often has to juggle the varied interests of his constituents. He’s come a long way from his early days as an absolute green newbie, but again, this ward is too uncertain for predictions.

West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry’s reputation has taken a bit of a hit with his work as the chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board. And not everyone is convinced he deserves another term.

Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson has served the Kanata community well for years. She’s still an incredibly hard worker for both the city and her community. However, having committed to not running in 2014, then outright lying about that commitment, many believe it’s time this loyal worker make room for someone new.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko hasn’t dazzled his community. Some in the ward are on the hunt for a candidate to take him on. And let’s face it, democracy is almost always better served when strong, qualified candidates debate the issues.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney is a solid ward councillor, and part of a small group of left-leaning councillors who fly their flag at council. She deserves a second term and should get it.

Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum is part of that same left-leaning group. Nussbaum was expected to be more of a force on council, but that just hasn’t transpired. Still, by all accounts, he’s keeping his residents happy.

In Stittsville, Coun. Shad Qadri is believed to be in a bit of trouble. It’s a ward to keep your eye on in 2018.

Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais is surely this council’s most unlikeable politician. Enough said.

Rideau-Goulbourn Coun. Scott Moffatt is a rarity on council. He doesn’t speak to hear himself talk, but when he wants to be heard, he makes his point. A straight shooter, Moffat is a 2018 shoe in.

In River ward, the hunt is on for a candidate to take on councillor Riley Brockington who has been a huge disappointment. Brockington is running scared, as he should be.

Alta Vista Coun. Jean Cloutier could also be in trouble. Former national chair of Equal Voice Raylene Lang-Dion has been telling people she’s taking Cloutier on. And in fact, she already has a website up and ready to go.

In Knoxdale-Merivale, you can still hear some wishing for the old days when Gord Hunter represented the ward. Count. Keith Egli has had a few stumbles along the way, but he takes care of his ward and there’s no reason to believe he won’t be around when the ballots are counted in 2018.

It was a surprise to many when Mayor Jim Watson said he was running again in 2018. His early pronouncement also had tongues wagging about whether he was simply making it clear to any potential opponent he wasn’t going anywhere. Lots of names have been bandied about as potential opponents, including former MP Paul Dewar and former police chief Vern White. Truth is, Watson may have his detractors, but he hasn’t had too many missteps along the way. Yes, it would be great if there was a real race with a strong and viable opponent to help provide a healthy debate of the issues at the mayoral level. As it stands now, that just isn’t going to happen.


  1. For the last long while I have wished I was in Jan Harder’s area of
    Barrhaven. Unfortunately, Mr. Qaqish has been all but invisible. I learn about what is happening in Barrhaven by reading Jan’s website and not Michael’s. Here’s hoping Steve Durocher decides to run again. Sign me up to knock on doors!!

  2. Nice Ward by Ward review.
    It will be interesting to see how some of the races will unfold over the next year and if the new filing date will have an impact.
    What about the OCDSB or the OCSB?
    And welcome back…

  3. Laura Dudas is an amazing person and a great community leader. I hope she runs again, she would be solid at Council table.
    Matt Muirhead needs to run again for Kanata North, a strong individual with a sense of pride when it comes to community. Not only does he have the ability to reach out to the older residents but has the same ability with youth.
    Thank you for your blog, very informative and I enjoyed reading it!

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