Ottawa broadcaster, entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe running for mayor
Longtime Ottawa entrepreneur, broadcaster and author Mark Sutcliffe is running to become the next mayor of Ottawa.
Sutcliffe officially registered Wednesday.
"I am excited and grateful today as I officially register as a candidate to be the next mayor of Ottawa – the best city in Canada, and a place I’m proud to call my hometown," Sutcliffe said in a news release announcing his candidacy. "Ottawa has always been considered a great place to live and work. But we are on the verge of some new and significant challenges. Our city is in an affordability crisis. Inflation is on the rise, and there is significant fear that a recession is just around the corner. We are facing a reliability crisis in our public transit system, and we need to improve our roads. On these issues and more, we need new leadership in Ottawa."
This comes amid a major change at Ottawa city council, with Mayor Jim Watson and several current city councillors not seeking re-election.
Sutcliffe has been a prominent figure in the Ottawa business community. He founded the Ottawa Business Journal in 1995, spent many years as a radio host on Newstalk 580 CFRA and 1310 News, hosted TV programa on CPAC and Rogers TV, wrote for the Ottawa Citizen, and served on the boards of numerous organizations in Ottawa. He currently hosts the Digging Deep podcast.
In his platform online, Sutcliffe says, if elected, he would "adequately [fund] our police, fire, and paramedic services and being tough on the causes of crime ... restore confidence in our public transit system, improve our roads..." and "[keep] taxes, recreation fees, and other costs as low as possible."
He tells CTV News that affordability is a key issue.
“I keep hearing from people that they’re worried about their future,” Sutcliffe said. “I think affordability is huge. People are worried about the rising price of gas, and food, and so many other things and, as a city, we can’t pile onto that by raising taxes by a huge number and add to the affordability crisis, so we have to keep taxes as low as possible.”
He also says he wants to take a new look at the LRT.
“I think people are losing confidence in our public transit system. There's just been one revelation after another at this inquiry that's been happening,” he said. "I think the city needs fresh leadership, a fresh pair of eyes to look at this issue, to fix light rail, to get the trains running properly, and to fight for the funding to bring light rail to Kanata and Barrhaven."
Sutcliffe says he's hearing from people concerned about rising costs and whether light rail will ever be extended into Kanata.
"I want to make sure that people know we are listening to them,” said Sutcliffe during his campaign launch. "I think this campaign is going to engage a lot of people across the community. I have already heard from a lot of people today and over the last couple of weeks as I have been considering whether I would run or not."
Sutcliffe says he has been "deeply committed" to community service in the city of Ottawa, and wants a city that is safe, affordable and reliable.
“We’re going to bring together a cross section of people from across Ottawa and from across the political spectrum and we’re going to engage the whole community in this campaign to make Ottawa safe, reliable and affordable.”
Sutcliffe will be on the ballot alongside eight other candidates: Brandon Bay, Bob Chiarelli, Bernard Couchman, Graham MacDonald, Mike Maguire, Catherine McKenney, Ade Olumide, and Param Singh for the Oct. 24 election. Maguire also registered to run Wednesday.
Chiarelli, a former mayor of Ottawa, said on Twitter that he welcomes any entrant into the mayor's race and looks forward to "a positive campaign to the benefit of our citizens."
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Tyler Fleming