Ottawa mayoral candidate Mark Sutcliffe has built a solid reputation as a broadcaster, journalist, writer, business owner, consultant, and mentor. Mark started as a freelancer with 580 CFRA in 1993 and then became the host of City News Ottawa for nine years. He has been an editorial columnist and Executive Editor for the Ottawa Citizen and became a partner at Great River Media, whose publications included the Ottawa Business Journal, Ottawa at Home magazine (no longer owned by Great River Media), and the Kitchissippi Times. An avid runner, he founded iRun magazine and has written three books on running.
Mark has clearly been a vital part of the community throughout his career. He was inducted into the Order of Ottawa and has chaired, or sat on, the boards of the United Way, Ottawa Board of Trade, OrKidstra, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, Run Ottawa, Algonquin College, Invest Ottawa, Kind Ottawa, and The Royal Ottawa Hospital Foundation. He and his wife Ginny have three children: his stepdaughter Erica (23), Kate (13), and Jack (11). He has created a plot twist in his family’s life by throwing his hat in the political arena. He cannot predict what will happen on election day, but he knows he will always serve his community in any way possible to make life better for the people of Ottawa.
When did you begin thinking of entering the race for mayor?
I was approached in the spring, but I thought there would be a lot of other strong candidates who would run, so I first chose not to. Ottawa is a million people, and we are starting to have bigger city problems. As someone who truly cares about Ottawa, I couldn’t sit on the sidelines watching these issues grow. Politics is a messy and polarizing business; this will not change if people who care about making a difference stay out. I feel it is my duty and responsibility to bring people together to create a better city for all.
Will your lack of political experience hold you back?
I have solid community leadership experience and have been a volunteer, fundraiser, and board member, and I understand the political climate. I have not run as a candidate before but have covered city hall, and I know how it works. Citizens are concerned over the rising costs of food, interest rates, affordable housing, public transit, rising crime, and how to better protect the most vulnerable. Finding solutions will be daunting, but when you bring together people with great ideas in a spirit of cooperation and a desire to improve things, you can solve problems positively.
Was the choice to run for mayor a significant family decision?
It is a giant leap and change, and my wife and I discussed it extensively before deciding. We want to teach our kids the same lessons we got from our parents about how fortunate we are, how grateful we should be and how much we need to support others and give back to the community. My immigrant parents would be proud to think of their son running for mayor.