Jacquelin Holzman

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Jacquelin Holzman
55th Mayor of Ottawa
In office
Preceded by Marc Laviolette
Succeeded by Jim Watson
City councillor for Richmond Ward
In office
Preceded by Donald Bartlett Reid
Succeeded by Alex Cullen
Personal details
Born c. 1936[1]
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) John Rutherford

Jacquelin Holzman (born c. 1936) served as mayor of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, from 1991 to 1997.[2] Never attending university, she married at age nineteen and started a family. She became a volunteer, especially on causes relating to the disabled.[3]

She was elected to Ottawa city council in 1982 representing the Richmond Ward (now Bay Ward),[4] defeating future mayor Bob Chiarelli,[4] and became one of the more right-leaning city councillors.[5] Acclaimed in the 1985 election, she soon ran into controversy in her second term over an expansion to the Carlingwood Shopping Centre.[6] Holzman supported the expansion but many of her constituents were opposed.[6] In the 1988 Ottawa election, she faced a strong challenge from Alex Cullen but was re-elected with a solid majority.

She was a close ally of mayor Jim Durrell and was described as his heir apparent. When he chose not to run for re-election, Holzman ran against left-leaning councillor Nancy Smith. Holzman ran on a pro-development and tax cut platform and defeated Smith and interim mayor Marc Laviolette.

During her first term, she worked for the 'Yes' side in the Charlottetown Accord referendum. She worked hard to increase Ottawa's international status. In 1993 she represented Ottawa in Tokyo at the Third Capitals of the World Conference. In the same month, she led a trade mission to Taiwan to promote Taiwanese investment and tourism in Ottawa.[7] During her term, she was a strong supporter of Taiwan establishing an office in Ottawa.

In the 1994 mayoral election she faced a number of challengers. She was accused of arrogance for planning an expedition to China under the assumption she would win re-election. Her second term was also mostly uneventful. One major debate was over the mayor's desire to add an expensive unity tower to the new city hall. The tower was left unfinished, as it remains today.

In November 1996 she announced that she would not run for re-election, citing the desire to spend more time with her family. She was expected to face a difficult election against city councillor Jim Watson. After leaving the mayor's office, she became head of the Ottawa Congress Centre. The next year she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but was treated successfully, and became an advocate for breast cancer related causes. In 2002 she became chair of the Ottawa Health Research Institute. She remained head of the Congress Centre before retiring in 2004. In 2007 she was appointed to the board of the National Capital Commission.


  1. ^ "Municipal Election '91: Woman, 55, to succeed Durrell". The Windsor Star. 13 November 1991. p. B2. 
  2. ^ "Governance Committee". National Capital Commission. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  3. ^ "Candidate declares in west end" (Google News archive). Ottawa Citizen. 19 August 1982. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Holmes tops Cassey in Wellington upset" (Google News archive). Ottawa Citizen. 9 November 1982. p. 17. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  5. ^ Miller, Jacquie (31 March 1986). "Passion, rhetoric missing on low-key Ottawa Council" (Google News archive). Ottawa Citizen. p. C1. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Residents ready to fight mall expansion" (Google News archive). Ottawa Citizen. 16 April 1986. p. B3. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  7. ^ "Ottawa Mayor to Attend Tokyo Conference". Ottawa Citizen. 19 October 1993. p. E8.