Case Ootes


Case Ootes

Case Ootes is a city councillor in Toronto, Canada, for Ward 29 Toronto—Danforth. He served as deputy mayor under Mayor Mel Lastman. He represents one of the two Toronto—Danforth wards.

He was born in a village northwest of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and he and his family immigrated to Canada in 1952 when he was eleven. Settling near Renfrew, Ontario, his father worked as a miner and the family lived in a log cabin. He obtained an Master of Business Administration degree from York University, and served several years as an executive with Imperial Oil. There, he became friends with Dave Johnson, and when Johnson became involved in Tory politics so did Ootes.

Johnson was elected mayor of East York, and in 1988, he convinced Ootes to run for city council. In 1992, Ootes retired from Imperial Oil to become a full time politician. Two years later, he was elected to the council of Metropolitan Toronto.

When Toronto and five suburban municipalities were amalgamated in 1998, he was appointed deputy mayor of the new city of Toronto, and held that position until 2003. In that role, he was widely seen as the second only to the mayor in power and influence. While Lastman relished publicity and spectacle, Ootes worked quietly and effectively to advance the mayor's initiatives.

In the 2000 municipal election, he faced a serious challenge from school board chair Gail Nyberg. The election mostly focused on Ootes' strong support of a scheme to ship Toronto's garbage to the Adams Mine, an abandoned mine outside of Kirkland Lake, Ontario. Nyberg was supported by Liberal Party supporters, but Ootes had the strong support of the mayor and several other city councillors, and won re-election.

Ootes was widely considered one of the likely candidates to succeed Lastman, but the Conservative money and supporters mostly went former Rogers Cable President & CEO John Tory, and Ootes chose not to run. The left-leaning David Miller narrowly defeated Tory in the 2003 election to become mayor.

Since then, Ootes has since served as the unofficial head of the councillors opposed to Miller's left-leaning initiatives. During his tenure on the police services board, Ootes and Justice Hugh Locke were instrumental in the selection of the more centrist Bill Blair over Mike Boyd to succeed Julian Fantino as Police Chief.

Ootes ran in the 2006 municipal election with the slogan "Proven Leadership", defeating Diane Alexopoulos by twenty votes. ["Councillor's political future lay in a box in a trunk of a broken-down car", by Jeff Gray and Jennifer Lewington , November 15, 2006, The Globe and Mail]

On July 16 2007, Ootes voted with a majority of councillors (23-22) to defer voting on mayor Miller's proposed vehicle registration tax and land transfer tax until after the October 2007 provincial election. Ootes said this was a wakeup call to the city that citizens want more control of city spending. [City defers tax vote until after Ontario election. CTV News. July 16, 2007. [http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20070716/new_taxes_vote_070716/20070716?hub=TorontoHome] ] [Toronto city council votes to delay decision on new taxes. CBC News. July 17, 2007. [http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2007/07/16/new-tax.html] ] On October 22 council voted to support the new taxes (26-19). Ootes was among those who dissented. He argued that while his side lost the final vote, they had won the public opinion debate. ['Pay a bit more,' Miller tells taxpayers, by Jeff Gray and Jennifer Lewington. Globe and Mail. October 23, 2007.]

His brother Jake Ootes is a former Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Northwest Territories.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.caseootes.com Case Ootes official website]
* [http://www.toronto.ca/councillors/ootes1.htm Case Ootes profile on City of Toronto website]


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