Today on CTV’s Question Period, one of the caretakers at the “Mop ‘n’ Pail” newspaper glosses over the ripple effect taking place by stating a moderate was elected in Ottawa. Mr. Simpson should look deeper than the mayoral elections.
Ottawa had it’s epiphany 4 years ago when we elected in businessman Larry O’Brien to the Mayor’s chair because we were tired of the same old left leaning values. Yet the citizen’s of Ottawa did not at that time give the Mayor a supporting cast of councilors. How do we know the change was desired? Because in the 2003 election, 180,000 voters turned out, yet 300,000 turned out to elect Larry O’Brien in 2006.
And this election, Ottawa did indeed elect a moderate, yet fiscally prudent man in Jim Watson, (who has straddled both the Liberal and Progressive Conservative camps in his career), yet this time the electorate knew the mayor was only one vote. So they got smart and the council itself made a MAJOR shift to the right.
In 2006 Ottawa re-elected EVERY incumbent councilor who ran. In 2010, Ottawa ousted 6 councillors and had 4 ridings up for grabs where no incumbent was running. This is how the 10 wards played out.
Ward 7 – Bay Ward – Extreme Lefty and long term councillor Alex Cullen was ousted by Liberal Mark Taylor. A shift to the right.
Ward 11 – Beacon Hill/Cyrville – Lefty Michel Bellemare was ousted by moderate Tim Tierney. A shift to the right.
Ward 12 – Rideau/Vanier – Lefty Georges Bédard ousted by moderate Mathieu Fleury. A shift to the right.
Ward 13 – Rideau/Rockcliffe – Conservative Peter Clark beat out 9 other candidates.
Ward 15 – Kitchissippi – Lefty and now 1 term councilor Christine Leadman ousted by newcomer and moderate Katherine Hobbs. A shift to the right.
Ward 17 – Capital – David Chernushenko, who is a well known Green Party member lined up very well with past Green Party leader Jim Harris who was a conservative. i.e. Chernushenko comes from the conservative side of the Greens and not the whacko “get in front of a harpoon boat in a rubber dinghy” envirofanatic side of the Green Party. Considering the area is represented federally by a New Democrat and was where lefty Clive Doucet sat on council last term, this is also a clear shift to the right.
Ward 19 – Cumberland – Wishy Washy middle of the road Rob Jellett was replaced by conservative Stephen Blais. Clear shift to the right.
Ward 21 – Rideau/Goulbourn – moderate to right leaning Glenn Brooks and long time councilor was ousted by youngster and rising conservative star Scott Moffatt. Slight shift to the right.
And last but likely the most prominent shift took place in Ward 23 – Kanata South. Lefty Peggy Feltmate, who was endorsed by previous lefty Alex Munter chose to endorse NDP supporter Aaron Helleman. The ward is traditionally conservative at the federal and provincial levels and when party affiliations came out among the three leading candidates, the clear winner was conservative Allan Hubley.
The remaining ward, Knoxdale-Merivale elected Keith Egli. I am not sure of Egli’s leanings but suspect he is a moderate meaning minimal shift in any direction.
But all in all the residents of Ottawa corrected a mistake they made 4 years ago and gave their mayor a clearly right leaning council. Hallelujah!!
So Simpson can preach that Ford’s election was a one shot move to the right in Ontario. But he would be clearly wrong as we have shown.