No byelection in Kanata: Council votes to appoint new Kanata North councillor

Jenna Sudds speaks to supporters at her campaign headquarters after being declared the winner of the Sept. 20, 2021 federal election race in the riding of Kanata—Carleton. (CTV News Ottawa)

Ottawa city council has voted to appoint a new councillor for Kanata North ward after Jenna Sudds was elected as a Member of Parliament in the recent federal election.

Whenever a councillor's seat is vacated, the city has the option to either appoint someone or hold a byelection.

Staff had recommended a byelection in January to fill the seat, at a cost of approximately $566,000.

However, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming 2022 budget discussions, and with the next municipal election looming, a motion by Coun. Jeff Leiper, seconded by Coun. Catherine Kitts, suggested council appoint a new representative.

The motion passed, but three councillors dissented: Scott Moffatt, Rick Chiarelli, and Theresa Kavanagh.

Council will vote at a special meeting on Nov. 10 to appoint a new councillor for the ward, who will then be available to participate in 2022 budget discussions.

Staff estimate there would be "some modest costs" to advertise the appointment process for Ward 4.

Sudds, who was elected as the Liberal MP for Kanata-Carleton on Sept. 20, is the third councillor to resign their seat at Ottawa City Hall during the current term.

In January 2019, Tobi Nussbaum resigned as Rideau Rockcliffe councillor to accept the role of Chief Operating Officer with the National Capital Commission. A byelection was held on April 5, 2019, during which Rawlson King was elected.

In March 2020, Stephen Blais resigned as councillor for Cumberland after being elected an MPP for the riding of Orleans. Catherine Kitts won the byelection that was held on Oct. 5, 2020 to fill the vacant seat.

The next municipal election will be held Oct. 24, 2022.