Voter apathy took a small hit Monday night as the voter turnout for the city of Ottawa increased by three percentage points over 2014.
According to the city of Ottawa, 269,772 ballots were cast of a potential 633,946, or 42.55 per cent. That’s an increase of almost 10,000 votes since 2014, when 39.92 per cent of voters came out to cast their ballots.
Though official results have not yet been released, unofficial results show that there will be seven new representatives at council this term. Four will replace incumbents who elected not to return and three incumbents were defeated.
Jim Watson will return as mayor of Ottawa for a third consecutive term, defeating several other candidates for the top spot, including former councillor Clive Doucet. Watson won with 71 per cent of the vote. That’s down from the 76 per cent of the vote he captured in 2014.
“Thank you for giving me once again a strong mandate as mayor of Ottawa,” said Watson in a release. “I am honoured to be given the opportunity and the privilege to lead our great city for four more years.”
“I am so proud of the progress we’re making as a city, and I am excited for the next steps we’ll take together.”
Capital Ward had the highest voter turnout of all the wards in the city with around 52 per cent of eligible voters turning up to cast their votes.
Public school board trustee Shawn Menard defeated incumbent David Chernushenko in that ward.
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Seven of the 23 members of council are new which, according to the municipal act, makes the current council a “lame-duck” council. This means council may be restricted from carrying out certain actions before Dec. 1, when the new council is sworn in. These include:
- The appointment or removal from office of any officer of the municipality
- The hiring or dismissal of any employee of the municipality
- The disposition of any real or personal property of the municipality which has a value exceeding $50,000 at the time of disposal
- Making any expenditures or incurring any other liability which exceeds $50,000.