City council waiting for Sudds' resignation as Sudds awaits final vote tally in federal election
OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa has not yet received Jenna Sudds' official resignation as councillor for Kanata North even after she was declared the winner of Monday's federal election in Kanata—Carleton.
The CTV News Decision Desk declared Sudds the winner of the tight race over Conservative Jennifer McAndrew. With 237 of 238 polls reporting, Sudds was leading McAndrew by 1,438 votes.
Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron" on Tuesday afternoon, Sudds said she's still waiting for official confirmation of her victory.
"We actually are still waiting on some ballots, believe it or not. We are waiting on about 6,000 ballots that have not been counted for Kanata—Carleton," she said.
Elections Canada said it had received 6,192 special ballot kits in Kanata—Carleton. They are expected to be counted on Wednesday.
"Obviously, there's still a bit of flux. I feel confident, but there's still some work to be done to finalize the polling results for this riding. Once that's done and complete, I would expect to submit my resignation."
A memo from city clerk Rick O'Connor said since he had not yet received Sudds' resignation, she remains a member of council.
"Elections Canada has stated that the election results may not be known until Friday, September 24, 2021," O'Connor wrote. "At this time, I can advise that I have not received a written resignation from Councillor Sudds. As such, Councillor Sudds continues to be the elected representative for Ward 4 (Kanata North) and may remain active in her capacity as the Ward Councillor."
Sudds told CFRA she didn't know exactly when she would submit her resignation, but she expects to do it sometime this week.
Should Sudds be officially confirmed as a Member of Parliament, she would be unable to remain a city councillor. O'Connor says there are two options to fill a vacancy, either by appointing someone or holding a by-election.
"Should Councillor Sudds provide me with her written resignation, or if she is declared elected as a Member of Parliament, my Office will bring forward a report to City Council at the earliest opportunity outlining the above-noted options (i.e., holding a by-election or appointing a new Member) in further detail," O'Connor wrote.
"Lastly, and as is past practice, should a vacancy in Ward 4 (Kanata North) occur, staff will recommend that City Council approve interim delegations of authority with respect to Ward 4 (Kanata North) matters until such time that a new City Councillor is sworn in and takes Office."
Sudds told CFRA she's unsure which option would be the most appropriate.
"If it was an appointment, who is stepping forward and willing to do so?," she asked, "versus having an election at this point in time. We're not far out from the next election. I'll leave that in the very capable hands of our city clerk and our council... We do have to fill the seat. There's some important work to be done."
Sudds was elected as the councillor for Kanata North in 2018.
Two councillors have already departed city hall in the 2018-2022 term. Tobi Nussbaum, who was re-elected in Rideau-Rockcliffe ward, left to become the CEO of the National Capital Commission in 2019. He was succeeded by Rawlson King in a by-election later that year. Stephen Blais left his seat in Cumberland ward after becoming the Liberal MPP for Orléans in a 2020 provincial by-election. Catherine Kitts won the 2020 municipal by-election in Cumberland to replace him.
The next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 24, 2022.