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City of Ottawa – Change Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Ottawa’s new City Council is sworn in.  Along with Jim Watson as the new Mayor, there will be 10 new councillors around the table including two under the age of 30:  Stephen Blais (Cumberland) and  Mathieu Fleury (Rideau-Vanier).  Not only will the new council be decidedly different – it will be a bit younger.  A refreshing change for those of us in the millennial generation.

The city faces some big challenges including moving people and goods around the city, keeping taxes low, and maintaining the quality of life Ottawa residents have come to expect.  The new Council will have to find a way to alleviate traffic congestion that’s plaguing the city and find common ground on the LRT plan passed by the previous council.  There will also be some regional issues – where to build the new bridge to Quebec and whether to expand the urban boundary.

I’m also interested to see whether Mayor Watson’s borough system is implemented and what that will mean for city governance.

What the last election proved is that voters, when offered clear alternatives, are willing to kick out those they feel have not worked hard enough or delivered what they promised.  That should be a clear message to all councillors and the new mayor – work together and get things done.

As someone who has worked for Jim Watson in the past and considers him a friend, I’m excited about the next four years.  I think the  irrational city government of the past four years is about to get a serious dose of logic and rational thinking.  Taxpayers expect a lot.  I think they won’t be disappointed.