FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa celebrates the victory of many of the progressive candidates endorsed in this municipal election. Newly elected councillors Sean Devine, Laine Johnson, and Ariel Troster and returning councillors Jeff Leiper and Shawn Menard ran excellent campaigns and Horizon Ottawa looks forward to their efforts on city council to continue to build a better city.
Horizon Ottawa also thanks council candidates Laura Shantz, Yvette Ashiri, Tessa Franklin, Kevin Hua, Ethan Sabourin and Lori Stinson, and school board trustee candidates Patricia Kmiec, Jessie-Lee Wallace and Steve Warren for stepping up as leaders of their communities.
Although Horizon Ottawa’s endorsed mayoral candidate, Catherine McKenney, did not secure a victory, they ran an important campaign, pushing for a vision of transforming Ottawa into a city that prioritizes ending chronic homelessness, free transit for youth, cycling infrastructure and reaching net zero emissions. While the outcome of the mayoral race is not what Horizon members were working towards, the organization will continue to apply pressure to City Hall and make sure Ottawa’s city council is accountable to, and representative of, its residents.
Horizon Ottawa brought many important issues to the light during this election, in particular the issue of developer influence and campaign financing. Many of the candidates, including Mayor-elect Mark Sutcliffe, declared they were not going to accept developer donations, in large part due to the activism of Horizon Ottawa. Sutcliffe refused to share his donor list prior to the election so the public is left to wonder if he stood by his commitment.
“We are proud of the strong, grassroots campaign that we ran and we will continue the work of holding City Council accountable,” said Sam Hersh, Board Member of Horizon Ottawa. “We will do everything we can to advocate for progressive policies, including supporting council initiatives as well as organizing in our communities.”
Horizon Ottawa is proud of the significant role it played, along with other community groups, in defeating school board trustee candidates who ran on transphobic platforms. Five of the eight candidates that Horizon Ottawa endorsed secured victories on election night, including: Alsyha Aziz, Justine Bell, Lyra Evans, Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, and Suzanne Nash. They defeated most candidates who were endorsed by far-right groups like the Campaign Life Coalition.
“The election of trustees that support equity, and ensuring all students—including trans students—have a safe learning environment, is a big victory for the people of Ottawa,” said Hersh. “We are glad that Ottawans followed our lead and made it clear that bigotry has no place on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.”
Every election campaign is an opportunity to amplify progressive ideas. Even though not all endorsed candidates were successful, their efforts have drawn attention to fundamental political issues like accountability, corruption, and democratic decision-making. They also have raised the bar for our city on issues of policing, climate change, housing and transit.
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