Ottawa election 2022: Shawn Menard has a challenger – Rebecca Bromwich

John Dance

Rebecca Bromwich has stepped forward to challenge Capital Ward incumbent Shawn Menard in the October 24 municipal election.

Last election, Menard triumphed over four others, including then-incumbent David Chernushenko, but the election was close. None of the losing candidates has yet expressed an interest in running again. Bromwich is an adjunct professor with the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton. She also teaches courses about diversity, equity, and inclusion, and conflict resolution in the Sprott School of Business. “My current law practice is largely pro bono, seeking to support access to justice for people who would likely not otherwise have legal representation,” she says. “I have been a litigator for nearly 20 years, and also have an MBA and management experience, as well as my PhD.”

CarletonU professor Rebecca Bromwich will challenge Capital Ward incumbent Shawn Menard in the October 24 municipal election. Photo by Bromwich Campaign

CarletonU professor Rebecca Bromwich will challenge Capital Ward incumbent Shawn Menard in the October 24 municipal election. Photo by Bromwich Campaign

Asked about Old Ottawa East issues, she responded to The Mainstreeter: “In talking to folks in Old Ottawa East so far, I have been hearing that burying hydro cables and developing infrastructure while taking a sensible approach to development and protecting parks and the river are important. I’m interested in hearing from people about their concerns and I am walking around with my team to meet people. I have a lot of ground to cover so I welcome people to also reach out to get in touch with me.”

Key points on Bromwich’s election website are, “Collaboration produces results…Vote for Rebecca Bromwich to get those results for our community … A vote for Rebecca is a vote for a strong, collaborative approach to a sustainable, equitable Capital Ward.” Cited priorities are: collaborating with local businesses and driving Capital Ward’s economy, protecting safe streets, ensuring transit is reliable, protecting our communities, providing safe and affordable housing at Lansdowne and around the ward, investing in health care infrastructure like the Civic Hospital, and supporting arts and culture.”

For his part, Menard has a master’s degree in public policy and administration with an undergrad in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University. His past experience includes being a senior staff person for Canada’s Big City Mayor’s Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Vice-Chair of the City of Ottawa Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee, President of the Centretown Citizens’ Community Association, and previously working at the Department of Justice Canada as a federal public servant.

“This is the most important election in Ottawa in a generation,” he says. “We can’t afford more of the same at City Hall. Ottawa is at a crossroads and we have a choice to make about our path ahead. When our team was first elected three and half years ago, I never imagined that we would need to be on the front lines of the battle of Billings Bridge or organizing safety walks for people to feel comfortable accessing essential services because of a convoy occupation. We have had multiple “1 in 100 year” climate-related events causing flooding, tornadoes, and power loss for up to 11 days in our communities. The city launched an LRT system knowing it had major deficiencies leading to derailments.”

“The approach to challenges that come our way matters,” Menard continues. “With new leadership at City Hall, we can move beyond the toxic dynamics which have stifled dissent and created barriers to change. We can collaborate to ensure a resident-focused City Hall that places quality of life at the centre of everything we do.”

Ten candidates are running to replace retiring Mayor Jim Watson. Since The Mainstreeter previously reported on who’s running, two significant changes have occurred: Ottawa journalist and entrepreneur Mark Sutcliffe joined the race and City Councillor Diane Deans withdrew.

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