OTTAWA – Exactly six months until Election Day, Jim Watson held his first rally today, officially kicking off his campaign for re-election as Mayor of Ottawa. With almost 300 supporters in attendance, it was one of the largest rallies in Watson’s career. In his remarks, Watson committed to a running a positive campaign that will focus on continuing the progress Ottawa has made over the last four years.
“We’ve made significant progress as a city in just four short years. We need to continue along this same path of stability and certainty,” said Watson. “I look forward to a thoughtful campaign about the kind of city we want to build – open, affordable and sustainable.”
Watson spoke to supporters about the importance of running a full campaign leading up to the October 27 vote, to ensure Ottawa maintains the stable leadership needed to take on the challenges ahead. Watson committed to personally knocking on doors in all 23 wards in the city to engage with residents about the issues that matter most to them.
Watson will release a full platform over the course of the election. It will build on his strong record, including:
Transit: After years of false starts, light rail transit is finally under construction, with a fixed-price contract. If re-elected, Watson will work to extend rail farther east, west and south, bringing 65% of residents within 5 kilometres of a rail line.
Trust: Watson brought forward the most comprehensive integrity package in the province. City Hall is now more open: lobbyist and gift registries, appointment of an integrity commissioner, and posting of office expenses online.
Taxes and affordability: Watson brought fiscal discipline to City Hall by keeping his commitment to cap tax increases to no more than 2.5%. This year saw the lowest tax change in seven years, at 1.9%.
- Community investments: The City is building and expanding community and recreation centres across Ottawa such as Richcraft Sensplex East, the Minto Recreation Centre in Barrhaven, the Richcraft Recreation Complex in Kanata and the new pool in Cumberland. If re-elected, Watson will work to build a revitalized Arts Court facility and a Bayview Innovation Centre.
In the months ahead, Watson and his team of more than 500 volunteers will continue to reach out to residents in all 23 wards of the city. He will also continue to use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to engage residents. Watson will open his campaign office later in the summer.
The municipal election will be held on October 27, 2014.