Outgoing Ottawa city councillors bid farewell at final council meeting of term

Ottawa's outgoing city councillors said goodbye during the final meeting of term. The Canadian Press Images / Nathalie Madore

With seven new members set to pick up the reins on Dec. 1, outgoing Ottawa city councillors gave their farewells to council during its meeting on Wednesday.

The wards of Orléans, Innes, Bay, Gloucester-South Nepean, Stittsville, Kanata North and Capital will all have new representatives at council during the 2018-2022 term. Some of the outgoing councillors are retiring, some are keeping a promise made during their initial campaign and some incumbents lost to up-and-coming candidates.

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Jody Mitic, Shad Qadri, David Chernushenko, Michael Qaqish, Mark Taylor, Bob Monette and Marianne Wilkinson will not be returning to council in the new term.

Qaqish, Qadri and Chernushenko were defeated by opponents in the election.

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Monette and Wilkinson are retiring after several decades in municipal service.

Taylor did not run again during the most recent election due to a promise he made in 2010 to only serve two terms. Mitic also elected not to run again in the most recent election.

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Each of the outgoing councillors was given a chance to speak to council and offer their thanks and appreciation to staff and colleagues.

Monette spoke of his excitement, saying that he would wake up Saturday morning to the longest long weekend of his life. Wilkinson assured council that although she is stepping away from council, she will continue as an advocate for the community of Kanata.

Mitic also thanked staff and colleagues, especially those who stepped up over the last year while he has been on leave. Qaqish and Qadri were thankful to the members of their community, and Chernushenko used a magic wand given to him by staff during his first year of office to illustrate some of the remaining issues in his ward.

The 2014-2018 term officially ends at midnight on Dec. 1, and the next new city council meeting is scheduled for Dec. 5.