Mayor Jim Watson presented a special Mayoral certificate to Ward 4 Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson this morning, in recognition and appreciation of her more than 25 years of service to elected municipal office.
“At Council and committee meetings, and countless public events, I always appreciate Councillor Wilkinson’s dedication and passion for service, as well as her focus and depth of experience,” said Mayor Watson. “It’s inspiring to see her at work representing the interests of Kanata residents so ably and for so many years. She has many goals for her community and our City, and I look forward to working with her as she pursues those goals going forward.”
Councillor Wilkinson said: “Moving to Kanata and embracing the concept of a garden city quickly led to my involvement with the community and a year later to election to the Township Council. I was the first woman to run for office in the municipality. With three young children, then 5, 2½, and 4 months, it was support from my husband Bob and friends that made that possible. Helping to create a new city has been a challenging and rewarding experience and one that continues to inspire me on a daily basis.”
Marianne Wilkinson (nee Berton) was born in Ottawa and raised in Ottawa and Calgary. After graduating from Trinity College, University of Toronto in Honours Geography she taught in Perth, Hamilton and Toronto before settling in Kanata in March Township in 1968 with her husband Bob and family.
She served as Councillor of March Township from 1970-74, as Reeve of March Township from 1976 to 1978, and was Kanata’s first Mayor following its incorporation, from 1978 to 1985. After retiring, she entered business as a realtor, and returned for a further term as a Kanata Councillor from 1991 to 1994.
She was elected to Ottawa City Council, serving as Councillor for Kanata North, in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 municipal elections.
She also has contributed considerable volunteer service leading and working for various community groups including the Community Resource Centre for Goulbourn, Kanata and West Carleton (Founder); Kanata Food Cupboard (Chair); Kanata-Beaverbrook Community Centre (President and Director); Canadian Federation of University Women Kanata (Founding Member and President); the Ottawa Talent Initiative (Chair); St. John’s Church (Warden); Kanata Choral Society (Founding President); Kanata Canada Day Committee (Founder); the Western Community Resource Centre (Chair of Steering Committee); and Ottawa Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (member of Steering Committee).
The Province of Ontario also recognized Councillor Wilkinson for long service at a ceremony held in Kingston on September 17.