If elected mayor of the City of Ottawa, candidate Jim Watson promises property taxes will rise no higher than 2.5 per cent -- only half of the increases seen under current Mayor Larry O'Brien.

During his campaign in 2007, O'Brien pledged not to increase property taxes at all, adding "zero means zero." Increases in 2008, 2009 and 2010 subsequently ran at 4.9 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent, averaging 4.5 per cent annually, Watson's campaign numbers said.

“I will keep tax increases to a maximum of 2.5% each year I lead council,” stated Watson.

“This will mean making some hard choices and holding some feet to the fire. It will mean working all year to stick to a clear fiscal plan. Even with only one vote at the council table, I will take it as a personal failure if we do not meet this commitment each year. I will fight and I will not give up. I will deliver.”

Watson also added a section to his campaign website for people to suggest ways to cut money from the city budget.

Other pledges Watson have revealed are:

  • Reducing raw sewage dumped in the Ottawa River;
  • Improving crime prevention and reducing homelessness;
  • Better relations with OC Transpo;
  • More "leading events" like the Grey Cup to bolster Ottawa's reputation as a capital city;
  • Creating a top-level economic agency to unite economic groups in the city, like Ottawa Tourism.