The Basics: Jim Watson is the Mayor of the City of Ottawa. He was first elected to Ottawa City Council in 1991 as a Councillor, and was elected as Mayor in 1997. He resigned as Mayor in July 2000 to serve as CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission. In 2003, he was elected as a Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament, serving in the Cabinet of Premier Dalton McGuinty from 2003 to 2010. He resigned as an MPP in January 2010 to run for Mayor, and was elected in October of that year. He has served as Mayor for the past eight years, and has filed to run again in the 2018 election.
Background: Watson was born in Montreal. He moved to Ottawa as a university student to study communications at Carleton University. Outside of politics, Watson's career has included several roles in media.
Things You (Really) Should Know: Ottawa has a relatively large City Council, with 23 Councillors and the Mayor. As Canada's Capital City, and as home to 130 embassies, Ottawa's Mayor and City Council have more interaction with the federal and international officials than do most other City Councils in Canada.
Fun Fact: When Watson was first elected as Mayor of Ottawa, he was only 36 years old - and the youngest Mayor in Ottawa's history.