Diane Holmes to retire as councillor for Ottawa’s downtown

OBJ Staff
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A veteran city councillor who dealt with dozens of major development projects in the city’s downtown as they made their way through city hall is retiring.

Diane Holmes is the councillor for Somerset Ward.

Somerset Counc. Diane Holmes announced on Thursday that she does not plan to run in this fall’s municipal election, according to several media reports.

As the councillor for downtown places such as Sparks Street, the area around Parliament Hill, Centretown and Little Italy, Ms. Holmes was for decades a major player in developers’ dealings with city hall.

She was first elected as an Ottawa city councillor in 1982, according to her biography on the city’s website. In 1994 she was elected as a regional councillor, representing Somerset Ward.

She was elected to the new council for the amalgamated City of Ottawa in 2003, 2006 and 2010.

Ms. Holmes also served on the boards of many merchants’ associations, including the business improvement areas for Bank Street, Preston Street, Somerset Heights, Somerset Village and the Sparks Street Mall.

Ms. Holmes’ decision to step down throws open the race for Somerset Ward in the municipal election scheduled for this October.

There are currently six candidates in the race for the council seat she is vacating. Martin Canning, Thomas McVeigh, Jeff Morrison, Denis Schryburt and Lili V. Weemen were all registered candidates as of Thursday, according to the city’s elections website.

Ms. Holmes is also listed, however she is expected to formally withdraw her candidacy in the near future.

Organizations: Centretown and Little Italy, Sparks Street Mall

Geographic location: Ottawa, Parliament Hill, Preston Street Somerset Heights Somerset Village

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