Karin Howard

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Karin Howard
Ottawa City Councillor
In office
December 1, 1994 – February 3, 1999[1]
Preceded byGeorge Brown
Succeeded byJim Bickford
ConstituencyMooney's Bay Ward
Personal details
Bornc. born in 1955
Toronto, Ontario
Political partyProgressive Conservative Party of Ontario[2]

Karin (Duncan) Howard (born in 1955) is a lawyer and politician. She represented Mooney's Bay Ward (now River Ward) on Ottawa City Council, covering the south central area of the City.

Early life[edit]

Howard, born in 1955 in Toronto, attended Malvern Collegiate. While completing her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Guelph, Howard was elected to the Biological Students Council and the University Senate. She moved to Ottawa in 1981 with her husband, where they raised three children in the Riverside Park area. Howard articled at Burke-Robertson, Chadwick & Ritchie, worked as a tax lawyer with Drache, Rotenberg, in government on the GST (Financial Institutions), and operated the business Tax Research Consultants.

First mandate[edit]

In the Ottawa municipal election of 1994, Howard ran as a community representative to replace the departing George Brown, defeating six opponents. On Council she was known as “Captain Accountability” for bringing in monthly performance reports[3] to Council, a Code of Ethics, and the independence of the City Auditor function. She instituted monthly reporting to community associations and made it her practice to attend all meetings. Howard was part of the Fiscal Five on Council, routinely holding the line on spending. She also fought to protect greenspace[4] by serving on the Environmental Advisory Committee, protecting McCarthy Woods, the Southern Corridor of the Greenbelt (as did John Baird, and Jim Prentice), and saving the environmentally sensitive land at 4160 Riverside Drive. This land, situated at the end of the Ottawa International Airport main runway, was protected by a land swap, and kept future building heights from interfering with air traffic. Her successful motion to pay into reserve funds any extra money received by the City after the Budget, saved $1,000,000.

Second mandate[edit]

Howard was re-elected in 1997, increasing her percentage of the vote from 35% to 62%, despite the strong challenge by respected school board trustee Kathy Ablett. During the municipal amalgamation discussions, Howard and Rideau Township Councillor Rob Fraser, jointly organized a televised public town hall discussion on amalgamation, and issued a report on the results. Howard brought a successful motion to support amalgamation on condition that the total budget of the new city would not be greater than the sum of the budgets of the amalgamated cities.

Howard announced in September 1998 that she would join her family in Beijing, China where her husband was newly posted with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), now Global Affairs Canada. Instead, to ensure a balanced budget was passed, Howard stayed on Council for five extra months after her family had left. She resigned once the budget passed without a tax increase on a 6:5 vote split.

Committees of Council and related boards[edit]

  • Policy, Priorities and Budget
  • Audit
  • Planning and Economic Development
  • Ottawa Public Library Board
  • Riverside Hospital Board
  • Central Canada Exhibition Board
  • Police Services Board
  • Environmental Advisory Committee
  • Disability Advisory Committee.

In Beijing, Howard was elected to the local board of the Canada China Business Council for three years, and became chair of the Policy Committee. She was appointed as a trustee to the International School of Beijing and helped to build the new school at Shunyi, a USD74 million project. As policy chair, Howard revised the school policies manual. She also served business clients at the law firm Goodman, Philips, and Vineberg in their Beijing Office.

Upon returning to Ottawa in 2001, Howard organized a rally to support a free press after Russell Mills, publisher, was ostensibly fired for allowing a certain editorial to be printed in the Ottawa Citizen.[5][6] For three years she managed an import business in Wellington West. During this time the City cut garbage pick-up service to businesses, which she opposed [7] because waste removal is a basic service. In terms of corporate social responsibility, Howard committed to making a donation from her fair trade business sales to a Chinese charity and did so in 2008.[8] The funds went to support victims of the earthquake in Sichuan, China.

Howard has taught many law courses and consulted on course development at Algonquin College and at two universities. She has been active in the community as a director on the Riverside Park Community and Recreation Association,[9] restoring the Victoria Day Fireworks[10] to the new Mooney’s Bay site, serving on several accessibility committees, on the Ottawa Rowing Club board,[11] and as President of the Somali Canadian Youth Centre[12] dedicated to help youth and their families involved with the criminal justice system.

Accountability advocacy[edit]

Howard has a special interest in the law of political accountability,[13][14] the subject of her Masters of Law studies at Queen’s University. She spoke at a 2016 conference about the lack of accountability in Ontario Liberal health care reforms that had inadequate consultation with physicians.[15]

Howard has advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities by serving on Accessibility with Moxie Foundation,[16] Queen’s Accessibility Committee, and the City of Ottawa’s Disability Advisory Committee.

Electoral record[edit]

2018 Ontario general election: Ottawa South
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal John Fraser 20,773 39.63 −10.40
Progressive Conservative Karin Howard 15,319 29.23 -2.63
New Democratic Eleanor Fast 14,250 27.19 +14.82
Green Les Schram 1,618 3.09 −1.26
Libertarian Robert Daigneault 342 0.65 +0.07
Communist Larry Wasslen 114 0.22 −0.08
Total valid votes 52,616 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing
Source: Elections Ontario[17]

Municipal Election Results 1994[edit]

Mooney's Bay Ward
Candidate Votes %
Karin Howard 3645 35.02
Pat Murphy 3025 29.06
Fred Bowie 1468 14.11
Don Tudin 1085 10.43
Riley Brockington 535 5.14
Alan Murphy 391 3.75
Coreen Fast 260 2.50

Municipal Election Results 1997[edit]

Mooney's Bay Ward
Candidate Votes %
Karin Howard 5005 62.00
Kathy Ablett 3068 38.00


  1. ^ Ottawa City Council Minutes, 1998-1999, Volume 1
  2. ^ http://bulldogottawa.com/karin-howard-to-run-for-pc-nomination/
  3. ^ "HCCO Minutes 2 Dec 1996". Hunt-club.ncf.ca. 1996-12-02. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  4. ^ CCAPresident (2017-04-05). "Carlington Community Association » CCA Report May 97". Carlingtoncommunity.org. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  5. ^ Skinner, David; Compton, James Robert; Gasher, Mike (1 January 2005). "Converging Media, Diverging Politics: A Political Economy of News Media in the United States and Canada". Lexington Books – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "AsperNation" (PDF). Marcedge.com. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Connecting People Through News". PressReader.com. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  9. ^ "Riverside Park Community & Recreation Association : Minutes" (PDF). Riversidepark.ca. March 5, 2013. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  10. ^ "Riverside Park Community & Recreation Association : Minutes" (PDF). Riversidepark.ca. January 8, 2014. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  11. ^ Martin Cleary (2014-09-23). "Ottawa Rowing Club aims to turn 150 with a bang". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  12. ^ "Somali Canadian Youth Centre". Somalicanadianyouthcentre.ca. 2016-10-03. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  13. ^ "Citizens' Circle for Accountability". Members.tripod.com. 1996-06-17. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  14. ^ "Centre for Public Accountability". Archive.is. Archived from the original on 2015-09-29. Retrieved 2017-04-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  15. ^ "Panel Discussions — Health City Ontario". Healthcityontario.com. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  16. ^ "Access Moxie - A video produced by the Accessibility with". Facebook. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  17. ^ "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 8. Retrieved 20 January 2019.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
George Brown
City Councillors
Succeeded by
Jim Bickford