Ottawa mayor hopes Liberals decide to keep two ministers in the capital

By Mike Vlasveld

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is hopeful that the federal Liberals will decide to keep a pair of cabinet ministers in the nation's capital after the city voted mostly red at the polls Monday night.

Liberals Marie-France Lalonde, David McGuinty, Chandra Arya, Mona Fortier and Anita Vandenbeld were all successfully re-elected in their respective ridings of Orléans, Ottawa South, Nepean, Ottawa-Vanier and Ottawa West-Nepean.

Newcomers Jenna Sudds and Yasir Naqvi were declared winners in Kanata-Carleton and Ottawa Centre, replacing Liberal MPs Karen McCrimmon and Catherine McKenna.

Watson says it's a bonus for the city when municipal officials can deal with local cabinet ministers. He thinks Fortier, Naqvi, McGuinty, or even Sudds would make great choices.

“Obviously we would certainly like to get back to the rhythm of having two ministers representing Ottawa, because we are nine ridings and we're the nations capital,” says the mayor. “Of course, Mona is still in cabinet, Mona Fortier. David McGuinty has a strong track record. Jenna would be sort of a new face. And Yasir has tremendous experience, both in government and in the private sector.”

At dissolution, Fortier was the Associate Minister of Finance and Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and McKenna was the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Watson neglected to say whether he would prefer a by-election in Kanata North over appointing someone to represent the riding for the next year.

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