Jan Harder

Jan Harder (born 1951 in Ottawa) is an Ottawa City Councillor representing the ward of Barrhaven. She is the appointed chair of the Ottawa Public Library board, which sets policy and has the ultimate say in decisions affecting the library system.

Jan Harder
Ottawa City Councillor
Assumed office
January 1, 2001
Preceded byCity amalgamated
ConstituencyBell-South Nepean Ward (2001-2006); Barrhaven Ward (2006-present)
Nepean City Councillor
In office
December 1, 1997  January 1, 2001
Preceded byDoug Collins
Succeeded byCity amalgamated
ConstituencyBarrhaven Ward
Personal details

Born at the Civic Hospital in Ottawa,[1] she spent her youth in a number of different Ontario cities. Trained as a radiological technician, she eventually became an executive in the grocery business.

She first entered politics in 1997 when she was elected to Nepean city council. With the creation of the new amalgamated city of Ottawa in 2000, Harder ran against regional councillor Molly McGoldrick-Larsen. While the race was expected to be close, Harder ended up winning by several thousand votes.

In 2003, Harder described youth gangs in her ward as "non-whites", which led to calls to her resignations and a hate crime complaint that did not lead to charges.[2]

She was reelected in the 2003 Ottawa election, by defeating newcomer John R. Palmer.

One of her first efforts on city council was the successful campaign to replace the new coat of arms with that of the old city of Ottawa. She also led a campaign to have filters installed on computers in the public libraries that would restrict users from accessing pornography.

In the November 2006 municipal elections, Harder retained her position as councillor with 75% of the vote in Barrhaven Ward.

Harder was accused of conflict of interest in 2008 for allegedly endorsing a waste management company, Plasco, and accepting money in the form of a paid trip[3]

Harder is heavily active in Conservative politics[4] and in the past mused about running federally in her riding. Her daughter, Elena ran for the vacant Orléans Ward seat in a by-election in January 2006, but was unsuccessful.

Harder endorsed Ottawa mayor Jim Watson for mayor of Ottawa in the 2018 Ottawa municipal election.[5]


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