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Jim Watson

Incumbent
Assumed office 
October 2, 2003
Preceded by Garry Guzzo

In office
October 30, 2007 – January 12, 2010
Preceded by John Gerretsen
Succeeded by John Gerretsen (interim)

In office
December 1, 1997 – August 1, 2000
Preceded by Jacquelin Holzman
Succeeded by Allan Higdon (interim)

Born 1961
Montreal
Political party Ontario Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Single

James Alexander "Jim" Watson is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a former Ottawa city councillor (1991-1997) and mayor (1997-2000), and currently represents the riding of Ottawa West—Nepean in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and was a Minister in the Cabinet of Premier Dalton McGuinty until he resigned in January 2010 to run for Mayor in the 2010 Ottawa municipal election.

Contents

Early life

Watson attended Carleton University and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the School of Journalism and Communications. He entered the federal public service and rose to the position of director of communications for the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Municipal politics in Ottawa

He was elected city and regional councillor in 1991 and re-elected in 1994. In 1996, he supported Dalton McGuinty's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal party.[1] In 1997, Watson was elected Mayor of Ottawa with 83 per cent of the popular vote. He resigned as mayor on August 14, 2000 to become president and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission.[2]

After municipal politics

In 2003, Watson left public service to pursue a career in journalism as host of CHRO-TV's The New RO @ Noon. He was also a regular contributor to the Ottawa radio station CFRA and the Ottawa Citizen.

Watson has served on the board or as honorary chair of several community organizations including the Riverside Hospital, the National Arts Centre, the Central Canada Exhibition Association, the Christmas Exchange of Ottawa and the Forum for Young Canadians. He served as chair of the United Way's 2002 campaign, which raised a record $21 million.

Provincial politics

In the 2003 provincial election, Watson defeated Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario incumbent Garry Guzzo to become the Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) for the Ottawa West-Nepean riding and was appointed by Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty as Minister of Consumer and Business Services on October 23, 2003. He became Ontario's first Minister of Health Promotion on June 29, 2005. After the 2007 election, he became Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Return to municipal politics

On January 12, 2010, Watson resigned from cabinet minister in order to run for mayor of Ottawa in the Ottawa municipal election, 2010.[3] He will resign as an MPP until after the February 4, 2010 Toronto Centre by-election to allow the Liberals to focus their efforts on one electoral contest at a time.[4]

Electoral record

Ontario general election, 2007 [5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Jim Watson 23,852 50.6
     Progressive Conservative Mike Patton 14,950 31.7
     New Democrat Lynn Hamilton 4,565 9.7
     Green Martyn Hyde 2,957 6.3
     Family Coalition John Pacheco 591 1.3
     Independent Robert Gauthier 208 0.4
Ontario general election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
     Liberal Jim Watson 23,127 47.04 +12.68
     Progressive Conservative Garry Guzzo 20,277 41.24 -6.55
     New Democrat Marlene Rivier 4,099 8.34 -7.78
     Green Neil Adair 1,309 2.66 +1.71
     Independent Robert G. Gauthier 353 0.72

References

External links

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