Rawlson King, winner of the By-election in Rideau-Rockcliffe, celebrates his in Ottawa Monday April 15, 2019.
Tony Caldwell / jpg
Rawlson King is Rideau-Rockcliffe’s new councillor, according unofficial results in the ward’s byelection Monday night.King, 42, an active volunteer and president of the Overbrook Community Association for the past three years, has lived in the ward for 15 years.His was one of 17 names on a crowded ballot to replace former Coun. Tobi Nussbaum, who was named the new chief executive of the National Capital Commission in December, just two months after being re-elected to his council seat.King won 18.36 per cent of the vote, edging out Jamie Kwong with 16.88 per cent and Penny Thompson with 10.22 per cent, according to preliminary results to be confirmed on Tuesday morning. Peter Heyck, whose name was the only other one on the ballot with Nussbaum last fall, winning almost 20 per cent of the vote, won less than one per cent of the vote this time around. Of 27,246 eligible voters in Rideau-Rockcliffe, 8,341 cast a ballot.Nussbaum, who was a diplomat and was director general of strategic policy at the Canadian International Development Agency, was first elected in 2014 and re-elected last fall, taking 80 per cent of the vote. He resigned as councillor at the end of January and began his NCC role on Feb. 4.King’s platform was focused on affordable housing, poverty reduction, programs for youth and more transparency in the planning process. He wants to see development that complements existing neighbourhoods, controlling development in heritage conservation districts, implementing inclusionary zoning that requires every major housing development to have at least 20 per cent affordable or social housing as well as stricter regulations for Airbnbs.King, who was unavailable for comment on Monday night, graduated from Carleton University with an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master’s degree in communication. He was president of Gallery 101, a non-profit centre run by artists and was treasurer of the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. He is co-chair of the Ottawa Police Service’s community equity council, which aims to bridge gaps between police and racialized communities. “I am running because I believe Ward 13 needs experienced leadership to address issues of smart and sustainable development, public safety and improved transit and transportation at city hall,” King said in February. “We have serious issues concerning gangs, guns, shootings, lack of economic opportunities, lack of social investment, lack of infrastructure investment, along with nuisance developers.” He is in favour of freezing all transit fares and eventually reducing them. He supports increasing investments in after-school programs, health and social service agencies and would also like to see more green initiatives, including a city-wide building retrofit program and banning single-use plastics.The ward takes in the communities of Overbrook, Rockcliffe Park, Lindenlea, New Edinburgh, Manor Park, Cardinal Glen and Carson Grove. Its population was 39,801 at of the end of 2018.Issues in the area involved a lot of transit questions. One question: how to make sure that residents of Wateridge Village (formerly CFB Rockcliffe) have public transit services.A second transit question: What happens to transit service once the LRT is running? The ward as a whole won’t have a direct LRT connection, the closest point being Tremblay Station, across Highway 417 from the Coventry Road baseball stadium.King has identified full-day, reliable and affordable transit for Wateridge Village as one of his campaign priorities. He also wants more affordable housing and social housing as Wateridge Village continues to be developed, and intends to create a ward council the meets regularly with representatives from each community association.The City of Ottawa estimates it will spend $329,500 on its first byelection since 2006.The full list of candidates on the ballot: Kasia Adamiec, Idris Ben-Tahir, Marc Dorgeville, Bruce A. Faulkner, Johan Hamels, Peter Heyck, Miklos Horvath, Peter Jan Karwacki, Rawlson King, Jerry Kovacs, Jamie Kwong, Maurice Lamirande, Patrick Mayangi, Oriana Ngabirano, Chris Penton, Sheila Perry and Penny Thompson.Ward councillors make about $105,000 a year in salary. They get transportation allowances, an office at city hall and an annual office budget of about $260,000.