Deans, McKenney Target City Division by Announcing Ottawa Mayoral Candidates – Ottawa | The Canadian News

Two current Ottawa city council members say they will seek to heal divisions in the council as they seek to replace outgoing Mayor Jim Watson.

Both Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans announced her plans to run for mayor of Ottawa in 2022 on Friday when incumbent Jim Watson said he would retire from the race, ending a three-term run as the city’s longest-serving mayor.

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Former Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli also previously announced his intentions to run.

But current councilors pointed to divisions during this term as areas where they see room for improvement after 2022.

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Speaking to reporters outside City Hall on Friday afternoon, Deans positioned himself as a “unifying force” with the experience of leading the city after nearly three decades in municipal politics.

“I think this city has been seriously divided, especially in this period where rural and suburban communities have clashed with the core of the city,” he said.

“We are a city, we are stronger together.”

Deans, the current chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, said she has a vision to get traffic back on track in Ottawa and address housing and weather emergencies. He said it will provide a more detailed platform in the new year.

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McKenney also addressed reporters at Marion Dewar Plaza on Friday, saying residents have shown that they seek a “different vision” for Ottawa in the post-Watson era that is “greener” and focuses on affordable and functional transportation. .

“Everybody wants the same thing, they want a green and healthy neighborhood,” McKenney said.

The center councilor also noted that geographic divisions and lack of representation on key city committees hamper progress in the council’s current term.

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They said that regardless of who wins the mayor’s seat next year, the selected candidate must structure presidential positions and committees differently to ensure that all opinions and areas of the city have “airtime.”

“I think that advice today could work better. Whatever advice comes our way at the end of the 2022 election, I think there are things any mayor could implement to make it work better, ”McKenney said.

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McKenney and Deans have often been allies during this council run, and the two spoke about how a crowded field of mayoral candidates could affect their careers.

Deans said he has “great respect” for Chiarelli and McKenney, but will let Ottawa residents make their decisions.

“In the end it will be the decision of the people. Do I think I am the best candidate? Of course I do, that’s why I’m running for mayor, “he said.

McKenney said the debates during the city campaign will be “good for the city” and help spark new ideas for the future of Ottawa.

“I will present my vision during the elections and I am sure there will be many more.”

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