Archive for the ‘Election’ Category

Advance Voting Turnout By Ward

- October 20th, 2014

Here are the rounded-off rates of eligible electors, by ward, who filled out ballots during the five advance vote days.

Update 3 p.m.: There were a few minor adjustments based on an updated list of eligible electors I just received. Nothing major.

Orléans: 6.6%
Innes: 6.4%
Barrhaven: 4.5%
Kanata North: 7.4%
West Carleton-March: 7.5%
Stittsville: 8.6%
Bay: 12.3%
College: 7.0%
Knoxdale-Merivale: 6.2%
Gloucester-Southgate: 7.6%
Beacon Hill-Cyrville: 6.0%
Rideau-Vanier: 10.1%
Rideau-Rockcliffe: 10.5%
Somerset: 9.5%
Kitchissippi: 8.6%
River: 5.6%
Capital: 7.1%
Alta Vista: 8.4%
Cumberland: 6.5%
Osgoode: 6.9%
Rideau-Goulbourn: 6.7%
Gloucester-South Nepean: 6.9%
Kanata South: 4.4%

Overall advanced vote turnout: 7.4%

Election Day is next Monday. Voting locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Morning Twitter Snark

- October 20th, 2014

A bit of morning snark for you to start your week.

Apparently a remark Kitchissippi incumbent Katherine Hobbs made about being disappointed in the environment committee has been eating at her colleague, Rideau-Goulbourn incumbent Scott Moffatt.

Moffatt, if you didn’t already know, is the vice-chairman of the environment committee.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Only Broadcast Debate Might Belong To Rogers TV

- October 14th, 2014

Mayoral candidate Bernard Couchman didn’t participate in the debate at Rogers today, but he taped himself watching it in the green room at the station.

Rogers TV taped a mayoral debate today and it might be the only one you’ll see or hear on the airwaves before the Oct. 27 election.

Up to this point, the candidates, to my knowledge, haven’t received invitations from other radio or TV stations to participate in a studio debate. In 2010 I recall CTV Ottawa held a debate, so did A-Channel’s morning show. Rogers did one, too. Readers can remind me if the radio stations held any studio debates.

What a difference.

I suppose it’s not compelling TV when you don’t have political giants trading jabs, like the 2010 contest of Jim Watson, Larry O’Brien, Clive Doucet and Andy Haydon.

This year’s Rogers debate has five candidates: Watson, Mike Maguire, Anwar Syed, Darren Wood and Robert White.

Bernard Couchman was actually at the studio in time for the taping, but I don’t think he let any of the producers know he was there. He seemed to expect people to know who he was. So, he watched the debate from the green room with reporters. In fact, I think he videotaped the TV the whole time, while taking the occasional selfie with the TV and adding a quip here and there.

I liked the Rogers debate format. Host Mark Sutcliffe puts an issue on the table and lets the candidates feast on it (or each other). And we got to hear candidates on issues that haven’t come up in debates yet, like the taxi industry and policing.

Sutcliffe, by the way, moderated Rogers debates for each ward and the mayor’s race. He might be best qualified to gauge this year’s crop of council candidates. He has some thoughts here.

Here are the Rogers TV mayoral debate airtimes (which will be updated at if there are changes):

Thursday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 24, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

“Subliminal Message” At City Hall Poll

- October 3rd, 2014

The banners promoting city museums hanging on pillars on the first floor of City Hall, near the special advance voting location.

Is Mayor Jim Watson that much of a brilliant tactician? Did he know where to hang museum banners at City Hall ahead the special advance vote?

Someone contacted the Sun today complaining that the Watson’s Mill banner in Jean Pigott Place is sending a subliminal message to voters to vote for Watson. The three-day special advance vote ends today at 8 p.m. One of the voting locations has been in Jean Pigott Place and the banner is right above the polls.

Can’t make this stuff up.

I assume similar beefs happen all the time in Toronto when a bunch of Fords are parked outside polling stations.

The banners inside Ottawa City Hall were put up over a year ago to promote the city museums. It was Watson’s idea for the banners, since the pillars were blank and he was keen on promoting Ottawa’s tourist hotspots. Read more about that decision here.

Mayoral challenger Mike Maguire has joked in debates that he once worked as a miller at Watson’s Mill in Manotick, but not that Watson! Har har har.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

On Thumbs, Trash And Running The Planning Committee

- October 3rd, 2014

Six mayoral candidates show their thumbs during a Yes-No segment of the mayoral debate in the Glebe Thursday night.

The community associations that organized the debate in the Glebe last night had an interesting way to burn through several questions within a minute. They only allowed a thumbs-up or thumbs-down answer to what, in some cases, turned out to be complex questions on things like infrastructure, campaign donations and development. I wish I videotaped this portion because it was hard to keep up with the responses. I know Mayor Jim Watson’s camp didn’t know this would be part of the format and Watson said he wasn’t a fan of that segment.

What more can I say about the debate? It was all over the place. Watson and Mike Maguire didn’t get enough time to talk about their platforms because there were four other candidates, but at least those guys showed up. Good on them. And heck, it was fun after covering several debates to have a bit of a circus. Not great, though, for Glebe residents trying to decide how to vote.

Candidates pushing weekly trash collection in the summer should dumpster-dive for another $1 million, maybe more.

Staff have crunched the numbers and the word inside City Hall is that the cost to collect garbage each week in July and August would be $4 million. The April 2011 estimate provided by staff was $3 million for June, July and August.

More candidates are jumping on the weekly trash train, including Somerset hopeful Lili Weeman (love the picture, by the way).

Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder chaired a doozy of a planning committee yesterday, with Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume being away. The Windmill Developments proposal for the Domtar lands was on the agenda with about 50 people signed up to speak. It was emotional with occasional outbursts from the audience, a request for a prayer song, an impromptu call for a moment of silence from a delegate and one man who refused to step down from the microphone. Harder was good, though. She kept tight to the five-minute speaking limit, even for Windmill’s Jonathan Westeinde. That could be a preview of next term’s planning committee since Harder is near the top (if not at the top) of the list for the chairperson’s job.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at