Theresa Kavanagh

Theresa Kavanagh (born 1957)[1] is a Canadian politician. She was elected to Ottawa City Council representing Bay Ward in the 2018 Ottawa municipal election.

Theresa Kavanagh
Ottawa City Councillor
Assumed office
December 1, 2018
Preceded byMark Taylor
ConstituencyBay Ward
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Trustee
In office
December 1, 2010  December 1, 2018
Preceded byDoug Lloyd
Succeeded byWendy Hough
ConstituencyZone 4
Personal details
Political partyNew Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Alex Cullen
ResidenceBritannia Bay

Kavanagh is the daughter of immigrants, having an Irish father and British mother. Her father was a steelworker at Stelco. She grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. She received a fine arts degree at the University of Guelph. In her youth, she joined Canada World Youth.[2]

Kavanagh worked for a number of New Democratic Party Members of Parliament and worked for 21 years in the party's whip's office.

Kavanagh's first venture into electoral politics was a run for the New Democratic Party in the 1988 Canadian federal election in the riding of Ottawa West. She finished third, behind Liberal Marlene Catterall and the incumbent, David Daubney of the Progressive Conservatives.

Kavanagh was easily elected as a trustee, representing Zone 4 (Bay Ward) to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board in the 2010 Ottawa municipal election and was easily re-elected in 2014. When Bay Ward incumbent councillor Mark Taylor retired in 2018, Kavanagh entered the race to replace him. On election day, Kavanagh won 55% of the vote, easily beating Don Dransfield, the husband of the incumbent Liberal MP, Anita Vandenbeld.[3]

Kavanagh is married to Alex Cullen, who represented Bay Ward for many years on city and regional council and was also a Liberal-turned-NDP Member of Provincial Parliament from 1997 to 1999.


  1. Kavanagh was reported as being 60 here and 61 in an Ottawa Citizen article published in November 2018
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