Hubley takes Kanta South, plans to fix flooding problem

Celebrating his victory in the Kanata South ward, newly-elected councillor Allan Hubley vowed to make sure the flooding of residents’ basements gets attention at council.

The silver-haired, fiscally conservative federal government manager won almost 49 per cent of the vote. Aaron Helleman, a 36-year-old high-tech worker, took second place with about 36 per cent.

After “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman–Turner Overdrive boomed over loudspeakers, Colin McSweeney, Hubley’s campaign manager, introduced the new councillor. “It’s a great night for Ottawa, but a greater night for Kanata South,” McSweeney said, going on to add that “now we’re going to send him down to City Hall to get things fixed up down there.”

Hubley was less blunt. “The people of Kanata South have spoken strongly in favour of positive change at City Hall,” he said. His speech, in which he mainly thanked family and supporters, lasted less than three minutes.

A big issue for the ward has been flooding of basements, and the increased insurance costs that residents have had to bear without government compensation.

“That was one of the reasons I voted for Allan,” said Mark McGaraughty, a civil servant who lives in the ward. “He came by our houses, even though we were only first-time flooders, and we got more information out of him than our current city councillor.”

Speaking to reporters after his victory speech, Hubley said that a priority for him will be to make sure flooding gets attention at council. But his first step will be getting to know his new fellow councillors. “I want to see who I’m going to be working with. I want to get a sense of where the city’s going to go. From what I’m hearing, there’s going to be a lot of new blood around the table. That’s good, I think it’s a very good night for the city.”

He said that he would have no trouble cooperating with Jim Watson. In fact, he said he would have been happy with any of the mayoral candidates. “You choose who you want for mayor, I can work with any of them,” he said before Election Day.

Metallic blue balloons adorned the tiny community bar located above the Jack Charron Arena. About 60 mainly middle-aged supporters packed the room. The announcement of victory came early, around 9 p.m., when Helleman conceded the race.

Hubley has lived in the ward, located south of the 417 near Terry Fox Drive and Eagleson Road, for more than 30 years. He’s been actively involved in the community for much of that time and served up until today as President of the Glen Cairn Community Association.

“That man has done more in this community in the last 20 years than all five candidates put together,” small business-owner Rob Nino said. Nino became a fan of Hubley’s 14 years ago, when Hubley got the ward councillor involved in solving a problem Nino was having with Halloween vandalism.

Kanata South was one of just four wards in Ottawa where the incumbent councillor was not running for re-election. Outgoing councillor Peggy Feltmate had endorsed Helleman, Hubley’s rival.

Hubley benefited from endorsements from both the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun.

As the new Kanata South councillor celebrated in the Sports Club on the second floor of the arena, the community he represents hummed on the ice below. Two boys’ hockey league teams faced off, paying no heed to the political victory above.

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