Mark Sutcliffe elected as the next mayor of Ottawa | Catch My Job


Mark Sutcliffe, a longtime broadcaster and entrepreneur who positioned himself as an outsider in city hall during this fall’s election campaign, will be Ottawa’s next mayor.

With more than 316,000 ballots cast, Sutcliffe garnered just over 51 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, two-term councilor Catherine McKenney, had just under 38 percent of the vote.

Former Mayor Bob Chiarelli was third with roughly five percent. Voter turnout was slightly below 44 percent.

“What a beautiful night in Ottawa!” Sutcliffe told the raucous crowd during his victory speech at the Lago Events Center on Dows Lake.

“I feel a lot of emotions right now: humility, excitement, joy, a lot of relief. But most of all, I feel incredible gratitude.”

The man smiles and waves as he is surrounded by a crowd of reporters and supporters.
Mark Sutcliffe is followed by supporters and photographers as he takes the podium to deliver his victory speech on October 24, 2022. CBC News predicts Sutcliffe will be the next mayor of Ottawa. (Felix Desroches/CBC)

The only one of the top three candidates without elected experience, Sutcliffe was nonetheless familiar to many voters thanks to his years at CFRA, CPAC and now CityNews Ottawa and Rogers TV.

The 54-year-old campaigned on fiscal austerity, promising to cap property tax increases at 2.5 percent in 2023 and 2024 and continue to keep them low in 2025 and 2026.

He pledged to find $35 million in municipal savings, in part by cutting 200 city staff jobs.

LISTEN | The mayor chose to interview Mark Sutcliffe on Tuesday’s Ottawa Morning

Ottawa Morning12:16Mark Sutcliffe is the next mayor of Ottawa

Mark Sutcliffe on his win and the challenges ahead.

Sutcliffe’s platform included spending promises, including $25 million for road and sidewalk repairs and snow removal. Other promises included creating a “recruitment strategy” to lure family doctors to Ottawa, boosting the city’s music and entertainment scene and building several new dog parks.

He received endorsements from several former Ottawa mayors, as well as local politicians such as Progressive Conservative MP Lisa MacLeod and Liberal MP Yasir Naqvi – endorsements he said spoke to his “cross-party” support.

“I’ve learned a lot during this campaign. For one thing, it’s harder to participate in a debate than to lead it,” Sutcliffe told the crowd, pointing to his broadcasting roots.

“Also: not everyone wears pants when they answer the door.”

Mark Sutcliffe unveiled his financial platform at a press conference outside Ottawa City Hall earlier in the campaign. (Melanie Campeau/CBC)

‘We are going forward’

McKenney was one of the first people to enter the mayoral race after Jim Watson announced last winter that he would not seek a fourth consecutive term.

First elected as a councilor for the Somerset ward in 2014, McKenney’s profile rose when he became the face of public opposition to the weeks-long occupation of downtown Ottawa by Freedom Convoy protesters.

If elected, they would become the first trans non-binary mayor of a major Canadian city.

In his concession speech, McKenney admitted it was not the result his campaign had hoped for, as he vowed to wake up on Tuesday morning and continue working for “the city we deserve”.

WATCH | The second-placed mayor makes a speech:

Catherine McKenney conceded the election for mayor of Ottawa to Mark Sutcliffe

Speaking to supporters Monday night, mayoral candidate Catherine McKenney congratulated her opponent and Ottawa mayor-elect Mark Sutcliffe and said they “enjoyed and appreciated every minute” of the campaign.

McKenney also congratulated Sutcliffe, saying they truly believe he has a vision and wants to make Ottawa better.

“It’s hard and disappointing, but we’re moving forward.” We are. We owe it to the thousands of voters who believed in our campaign,” McKenney told the crowd at the All Saints Events Center to cheers.

“We’re going to share a drink tonight. But it’s not up to me! I’m unemployed. There’s no soft landing here.”

For his part, Sutcliffe said he always had respect for McKenney — and that respect only grew during the campaign.

“Catherine is a pioneer. “Catherine is an incredibly passionate advocate for the most vulnerable,” he said. “And Catherine has an unsurpassed ambition for what our city could be.”

Born and raised in Ottawa

Born in Ottawa in 1968, Sutcliffe graduated from St. Pius X High School and enrolled at Carleton University before dropping out to work at a rock radio station Chez 106.

He went on to hold various on-air positions, while also co-founding the Ottawa Business Journal.

Sutcliffe has served on numerous boards, including Algonquin College and the Ottawa Board of Trade, while also volunteering for causes such as the United Way and the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation.

In 2016, he was appointed to the Order of Ottawa.

An avid long-distance runner, Sutcliffe has also written two books about his experiences, Why am I running? and Road to Boston. He lives in Wellington Village with his wife and children.

Mark Sutcliffe speaks during the environment debate on 28 September. Also shown are the candidates from left to right: Nur Kadri, former mayor Bob Chiarelli and Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, whom Sutcliffe considered his main rival. (Patrick Louiseize/CBC)


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