Today at my eighth annual Mother's Day Tea I shared with our community my thanks for their support over the past two terms.
Today, I fulfilled that pledge. Please take a moment to read my message.
Eight years ago I asked for the support of Bay Ward residents to be your City Councillor.
I remain thankful to you for the gift of responsibility given to me in 2010 and repeated in even greater numbers in 2014.
I am also thankful to my Council colleagues for their support as I served on numerous committees in our government, working to improve our city.
I am thankful to Mayor Watson for his support.
Serving as one of our City’s Deputy Mayors and as the Mayor’s Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness has offered me perspectives and opportunities to help our community in ways I could not have predicted on election night October 2010.
With the support of colleagues from across the province I have served the interests of Ontario residents at the Association of municipalities.
Representing cities and towns across our province I have sat on the Provincial task force on the opioid crisis.
With colleagues from north to south Ontario and from east to west I have steered our health task force ensuring that good local health care was a priority of the provincial government.
Recently I concluded a wide-ranging report on homelessness, and affordable housing in Ottawa.
I recommended steps we can take together to be bolder, more aggressive and more responsive to our neighbors in need.
Locally across our ward we have fixed roads, renewed parks and built the first new park in our community in over 30 years.
With your support I have worked to secure light rail for our entire Ward, something that eight years ago was a distant idea will be up and running right here in just five short years.
With it we will see suburban renewal, re-greening and the conversion of asphalt to natural lands.
The elimination of greenhouse emissions will be the single largest environmental project in the city’s history.
Beyond that I have worked to protect and restore the cleanliness of the Ottawa river.
In addition to these new things I have worked to deliver long held up projects.
The completion of the Britannia waterfront berm came just in time to protect the village from last years flood waters.
Just yesterday City Council unanimously supported my action to allow for property renewal in that historic area. This-after near 30 years of delay.
By supporting private enterprise in responsible redevelopment a 200 million dollar renovation to Bayshore mall and a 100 million dollar renovation and revisioning in Accora Village provided new local jobs and renewed homes nearby. Both of these projects had been stalled for near a decade.
This was not an individual effort. I have many colleagues and friends to thank for the work we have done and the things we have achieved.
From our own staff team over the years to the many dedicated and hard working city employees, our community could not have made the progress it has without them.
Most importantly to me – I am thankful to be blessed with the support of my wife Christine and my two daughters Sasha and Emily.
Each day they make me a wiser, stronger, better person and public servant. I could not have completed these last eight years without them.
To my wife Christine, your wise Council was and always will be a compass point for me.
To all the residents of Bay Ward and Ottawa who collaborated on all of our progress, it would not have happened without you. Thank you.
In the election of 2010 I campaigned on serving as Councillor for Bay Ward for only two terms. This year the second of those terms will come to a close on December 1st.
I believe we have accomplished much.
I believe there is more work to be done and;
I believe that we can make even more progress as a community together.
I also believe in keeping my commitments.
Notwithstanding the very kind and very gracious messages of support and encouragement from Bay Ward and Ottawa residents to continue as your councillor, I have arrived at today… and a pledge I intend to keep.
As the year unfolds I look forward to sharing more about other ways in which I can continue to contribute and make a difference. While I will not be seeking re-election this fall, I will continue to work for our community.
I believe in everything we do, we should be making a contribution to the world around us, and; I believe I can continue to make a contribution by acting as a strong voice for a community where everyone matters.
Together we are much more than the sum of our individual contributions.
I plan to continue contributing to our community, I am as hopeful as ever that you will as well.
Thank You all. Merci beaucoup.