Voter turnout in Ottawa’s most recent municipal election remains low
In 2018, the most recent municipal election in Ottawa, only 43% of residents who were eligible to vote actually participated in choosing their mayor, councillor and school board trustee. But Ottawa is not alone in low voter turnout. Of Canada’s six largest cities, only Calgary posted a significantly higher turnout in their most recent municipal election, with participation by 58% of eligible voters.
Surprisingly, given the role that local government plays in the everyday lives of people, voter turnout at the municipal level across Canada is typically significantly lower than for federal and provincial elections.
- City of Ottawa. 2018 Election Results. Accessed November 7, 2019
- City of Toronto. 2018 Election Statistics. Accessed November 7, 2019
- City of Vancouver. 2018 Municipal Election Official Results. Accessed November 7, 2019
- City of Edmonton. Edmonton Official Election Results 2017. Accessed November 7, 2019
- City of Calgary. 2017 General Election Official Results. November 7, 2019
- Ville de Montréal. Bilan élection générale novembre 2017. November 7, 2019
A relatively high proportion of Ottawa residents are satisfied with their Mayor and Council
Based on a January 2017 poll to gauge approval ratings of municipally elected officials, Ottawa residents are more satisfied with their Council than residents in Canada’s five other major cities. The same holds true with respect to the Mayor. Of the nearly 600 Ottawa residents polled, 64% “strongly approved” or “somewhat approved” of their City Council. A similar proportion of residents were also satisfied with their own Councillor. The Mayor’s approval rating was 79%. Ratings in Ottawa were very similar regardless of gender or age.
- Mainstreet/Postmedia. Canadian Mayors. January 2017. Accessed March 7, 2017
Ottawa is moving closer to the average with regards to the number of women on City Council
When the composition of a City Council reflects the diversity of the population it serves, the odds are that it will better represent issues relevant to all residents.
Across the six major cities in Canada, the average proportion of women on City Council is around 36%. In 2018, Ottawa elected 7 women to Council, bringing the proportion up from 17% in 2017 to 27% in 2018. Ottawa has had three female mayors in its history.
- City of Ottawa. Mayor and City Councillors Accessed September 19 2019
- City of Toronto. Council Members. Accessed September 19 2019
- City of Vancouver. City Councillors. Accessed September 19 2019
- City of Edmonton. City Councillors. Accessed September 19 2019
- City of Calgary. Councillors and Wards. Accessed September 19 2019
- Ville de Montréal. Elected Officials. Accessed September 19 2019