Diane Deans not running for mayor of Ottawa

Diane Deans will not be running for mayor of Ottawa in this fall’s municipal election, saying she doesn’t feel she can commit to running for two terms as head of the city.

Instead, the long-time councillor has announced she will be saying goodbye to Ottawa City Hall, and will not seeking re-election in Gloucester-Southgate.

“For both personal and professional reasons, I have decided that I will not be on the ballot in the mayoralty race this fall,” Deans said in a statement.

Deans announced in December she would be running for mayor, hours after Mayor Jim Watson announced he would not be seeking re-election. But Deans says “there are several reasons” she cannot run for mayor, including her concern for the future of the city.

“This city is at a crossroads,” Deans said.

“Our problems are deep and solutions elusive. These past several years have been difficult for Council. We have a transit system plagued with problems, declining infrastructure, ballooning debt, a lack of affordable housing, and a divided Council that has exacerbated these issues. There are no quick fixes.

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the next Mayor will need to make an eight-year (two term) commitment to the job. Four years will not be sufficient to get this City on a better path. Regrettably, I do not feel that I can make a commitment of that length to the people of Ottawa.”

Deans was first elected to Ottawa city council in 1994. Deans was re-elected for her eighth term on council in 2018 with 56 per cent of the vote.

“I am deeply grateful to have had the honour of serving this City and its Citizens. I will forever be indebted for the trust the people of Ottawa placed in me.”

In February, council voted to remove her as chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board during the “Freedom Convoy” protest. The move came one day after former Chief Peter Sloly resigned.

Coun. Theresa Kavanagh thanked Deans for her “courage and dedication” to Ottawa.

“You’ve been a mentor to me as a newly elected woman & I appreciate your efforts on bringing gender equity to the forefront at city hall,” Kavanagh said on Twitter.”

There are currently eight candidates on the ballot for mayor of Ottawa, including Coun. Catherine McKenney and former mayor Bob Chiarelli.

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