Diane Deans will not run for mayor of Ottawa in this fall’s local elections, saying she does not feel she can commit to running for more than one term as mayor.
Instead, the longtime councilor has announced that she will say goodbye to Ottawa City Hall and will not seek re-election in Gloucester-Southgate.
“For both personal and professional reasons, I have decided that I will not be on the ballot in the mayoral race this fall,” Deans said in a statement.
The dean announced in December that she would run for mayor, a few hours after Mayor Jim Watson announced he would not seek re-election. But Deans says “there are several reasons” she can not run for mayor, including her concern for the city’s future.
“This city is at a crossroads,” Deans said.
“Our problems are deep and solutions elusive. The last many years have been difficult for the Council. We have a transit system plagued with problems, declining infrastructure, rumbling debt, lack of affordable housing and a divided council that has exacerbated these problems. There are no quick fixes.
“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the next mayor will have to commit to the job in eight years (two terms). Four years will not be enough to get this city on a better path. Unfortunately, I do not feel that I can commit me of that length to the people of Ottawa. “
Deans was first elected to Ottawa City Council in 1994. Deans was re-elected for his eighth term on the council in 2018 with 56 percent of the vote.
“I am deeply grateful to have had the honor of serving this city and its citizens. I will forever be indebted to the trust that the people of Ottawa have shown me.”
In February, the council voted to remove her as chairman of the Ottawa Police Services Board during the “Freedom Convoy” protest. The move came a day after former boss Peter Sloly resigned.
grev. Theresa Kavanagh thanked Deans for her “courage and dedication” to Ottawa.
“You have been a mentor to me as a newly elected woman, and I appreciate your efforts to bring equality to the center of City Hall,” Kavanagh said on Twitter.
There are currently eight candidates running for mayor of Ottawa, including Coun. Catherine McKenney and former Mayor Bob Chiarelli.