New councillors eye extra work

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Ottawa Sun

Written by Jon Willing in the Ottawa Sun

The jockeying for committee positions has begun as the new councillors learn the ropes at City Hall.

Committee structures will be one of the first matters for the new council, which takes office Dec. 1. There are seven standing committees on which councillors sit, but depending on the wishes of the new council, that number could increase, decrease or remain unchanged.

There has been some scuttlebutt already about possibly striking a separate environmental committee or creating a new structure to the community and protective services committee because a board of health is being formed.


Mayor-elect Jim Watson is also expected to recommend transforming the transit committee into a transit commission with a mix of councillors and citizens. He campaigned on creating the commission for OC Transpo.

Cumberland councillor-elect Stephen Blais said Tuesday he’s particularly interested in sitting on the information technology subcommittee and agriculture and rural affairs committee.

“I’ve got a huge geography in the rural area,” Blais said.


Tim Tierney, who will represent Beacon Hill-Cyrville, already has his top three choices for committee membership: Transit, transportation and information technology.

Veteran councillors will no doubt be tapped to lead committees.

Coun. Maria McRae, who won re-election in River ward, said she would be happy to return to the transportation committee, which she chairs, and the police services board.

“I really love the transportation committee,” McRae said, adding the group has been “moving the yard sticks” in areas of cycling and anti-graffiti programs.