The three-term city delegate, who co-chairs Ottawa’s powerful planning committee, says that while there are “broken relations” around the council table, that is not why he will not seek re-election in 2022.
Kung. Scott Moffatt, who represented the department currently called Rideau-Goulbourn, announced on social media on Sunday – 15 years to the date of his first failed bid for city council – that he had decided not to run for a fourth term.
He later told CBC News that he had been thinking about making his exit for a few years.
“When I first ran in 2006 [it wasn’t] something I considered a career. It was something I wanted to do. It was something I felt I could be good at and what I could make a difference about, ”Moffatt said.
“But it’s not something I’ve considered doing for 30 years.”
Elected to council in 2010, Moffatt has served as co-chair of the city’s planning committee since July after former chairman Coun. Jan Harder retired after a damn report on integrity commissioner.
Moffatt also chairs the city’s environmental committee, which is preparing a new master plan for solid waste.
Both one of the youngest and longest-serving advisers, Moffatt said it has gradually become more difficult to reflect the needs of its constituents when dealing with important issues such as Ottawa’s climate action strategy and the recently approved new official plan.
“You sacrifice for each other, almost. And I think when I spend more time in an office, I end up wanting to be more involved in a bigger picture, citywide things – which pulls me away from doing the work more locally. And it’s hard to balance that, ”he said.
‘We could work better’
Moffatt also noted that the tone around the council table has changed in recent months, citing Coun’s silence. Diane Deans’ microphone during a heated LRT debate and Mayor Jim Watson’s subsequent apology.
“I think we could work better,” he said. “When a politician is the story, that’s a problem. The story should always be about what we do, the substance of our decisions, the politics we create.”
Even so, Moffatt said the “broken relations” that had characterized council recently in the eyes of the public had nothing to do with his decision to leave municipal politics.
“What happens at the council doesn’t affect my decision to stay or go,” he said. “There will always be challenges, there will always be work to do, there will always be barriers to fix.”
During his time on council, Moffatt also pressed for the renaming of his ward after discovering the man it honors, 19th-century British statesman Sir Henry Goulburn, owned a slave plantation in Jamaica and had no apparent ties to Canada.
The ward will be renamed Rideau-Jock when residents elect a new councilor in October 2022.