Election in Ottawa: the 2022 municipal election campaign begins

A former mayor of Ottawa has filed candidacy papers in a bid to become mayor again as the sprint to the municipal ballot box officially begins.

Bob Chiarelli, 80, kicked off his mayoral campaign by registering at the city’s elections office on Monday morning.

Chiarelli was elected the amalgamated city of Ottawa’s first mayor in 2000 and served two terms before losing in the 2006 election. He is also a veteran of provincial politics, having served as a Liberal cabinet minister.

“I’m not doing this to satisfy my ego or fill my resume in any way,” Chiarelli told CTV News at noon Monday. “I’m a citizen like any other citizen, and I think there’s a strong consensus among us that a lot of things at City Hall are going in the wrong direction.”

Chiarelli identified the city’s growing debt, LRT issues and the city’s response to the “Freedom Convoy” protests in February as issues he thinks the current board could have handled better.

“Advisors are very divided on many issues and they don’t work as a team,” he said.

Monday is the first day that candidates for mayor, councilor and school trustee can file their nomination papers to run in the 2022 municipal elections on October 24. Candidates can begin accepting contributions and spending money on their campaign once nomination forms have been filed and approved by the city.

There will be a new mayor and at least seven new councilors at Ottawa City Hall after the election.

Jim Watson has announced that he will not stand for re-election after three terms as mayor of Canada’s capital. Watson was first elected mayor of the amalgamated city of Ottawa in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Councilors Diane Deans and Catherine McKenney both announced in December that they would run for mayor.

Chiarelli, who was asked why at his age he was running again for the city’s top job, said it was up to voters to decide if that mattered.

“It’s up to the voters to decide,” he said. “We have six months. There is a campaign with a lot of energy, I have a lot of ideas on how to solve certain problems, new initiatives to come up with… it will be up to the public to decide.”

Four councilors have said they will not seek re-election – Jean Cloutier, Keith Egli, Jan Harder and Scott Moffatt. And a new councilor will sit at the council table this election, as Ottawa adds a 24and neighborhood to cope with population growth. The new neighborhood is “Quartier 24 – Barrhaven East”.

Candidates for mayor, councilor and school trustee have until Friday, August 19 to submit their nomination form.

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