Why I am Running for Mayor of Ottawa

I was always taught that we can complain about things or we can roll up our sleeves and try to do things better, to make change. And that’s what I decided to do.

My father was a policeman and my mother was a teacher. I was only 8 years old when my father passed away and I went to work before I was 9. I immigrated from Lebanon to Ottawa in 1998 at the age of 24 and sponsored my mother and 3 younger brothers to join me eighteen months later. I saw endless possibilities in the robust cultural, political and technological ecosystem of Canada’s capital city, and I knew I wanted to make this city my home for the rest of my life.

Like so many new immigrants, I immersed myself in my work and gained extensive experience in many of Ottawa’s thriving sectors including technology, government, and post-secondary education. I take special pride in my work as a professor at the University of Ottawa, where I have taught more than 17,000 students over the past 20 years. I know this city. I have lived in 7 different areas of Ottawa and worked in 6 others.



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Over the past two years, I have been deeply inspired by the resiliency and strength of my fellow Ottawans in the face of an unprecedented pandemic. I have been deeply moved by the strength of Ottawans and the outpouring of civic pride and engagement during times of crisis including the floods from the Ottawa River, the convoy protest, and the horrific tornado this summer. Ottawa before the convoy protest is different from Ottawa after the convoy protest. Divisions run deep in our society and much healing is needed. We can do better, together.

The issues that I am focused on include:


Reliable Public Transit

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Affordable housing and food security for all

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The climate crisis and its effect on health and human rights

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Public Safety and Effective Policing

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Equity, diversity and accessibility

Smart City

Smart City concepts for infrastructure, service delivery, and responsiveness.

I truly love this city and know that we can make it so much better, together.

We are the capital of Canada, a G7 nation, but we are not firing on all cylinders and achieving our full potential. I believe that with innovation, food, entertainment, culture and community, we can make Ottawa an exciting, vibrant city with a reputation comparable to that of London, Paris, and Rome.

As your next mayor, I look forward to moving into Ottawa’s dynamic future with you. What an incredible honour and responsibility it is to help lead this great city into the next stage of its evolution. Principled and pragmatic, our vision is ambitious and will make Ottawa Green, Progressive, Responsive, Smart and Vibrant!

Join me on this journey to take Ottawa from good to great!