Mark Sutcliffe elected next mayor of Ottawa

Global News / File

Ottawa has a new head of council this time around, with Mark Sutcliffe elected as the city’s next mayor.

Sutcliffe is leading with a majority of the votes, with 842 of 842 polls showing over 51 per cent of voters choose him as Ottawa’s next Mayor.

Mark Sutcliffe, 54, beat out 13 other candidates, including Catherine McKenney, a city councillor who rose to national prominence during the “Freedom Convoy” protest in February, and former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli.

His closest rival, Catherine McKenney, concedes defeat, with polls showing they has just over 37 per cent of the vote.

The city’s website shows that only 43.79 per cent of eligible voters came out to cast a ballot in this election.

Sutcliffe, a former journalist, took an early lead over councillor Catherine McKenney.

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On his campaign page website, Sutcliffe said his priorities as mayor would be keeping taxes low, fixing the LRT, improving roads and making Ottawa safer.

Affordability was a major theme for all candidates in Ottawa, given rising inflation and a massive increase in the cost of housing over the last several years.

Sutcliffe pledged to oversee the construction of 100,000 new homes in Ottawa over the next ten years, without further expanding Ottawa’s already considerable urban boundary.

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The former Ottawa journalist worked in media for over 30 years, covering the Ottawa area for several different news outlets as well as operating several small businesses.

Most recently, Sutcliffe has hosted the Digging Deep podcast, focused on one-on-one interviews with entrepreneurs and CEOs.

Despite Sutcliffe marketing himself as a political outsider during the campaign, he garnered endorsements from a long list of established politicians, including former federal cabinet minister John Baird, several former Ottawa mayors, MPPs, Kanata MP Jenna Sudds and current and outgoing city councillors.

Sutcliffe’s election comes after current Mayor Jim Watson announced last year he would not be seeking another term in office. Watson served as mayor from 1993 to 2000 and then again from 2010 to now.

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Watson is the city’s longest-serving mayor, winning three consecutive terms since he was re-elected in 2010. There are 14 candidates who have stepped up to take his place.

There will also be a lot of new faces on council this term, with only 13 out of 24 councillors re-elected.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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