Photostory #346: Canada's Charlotte Whitton: "No Angel, But a Good Mayor"
Photographers, , ,
National Film Board of Canada
September 10, 1963
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
From her five-foot-high eye-level, Charlotte Whitton, five times mayor of Canada's capital city, Ottawa, sees further than many people who stand a full 12 inches taller. Confidently meeting all comers in the rough and tumble of civic politics with a sharp wit that flashes out spontaneously, Dr. Whitton yet charms visitors with disarming candour, a prodigious memory and keen intelligence. Ensconced in the mayoralty seat of office for the best part of a dozen years she has watched carefully over the new Ottawa she has helped build. From the strikingly modern city hall that rises up near the historic meeting place of the Ottawa and Rideau rivers and where the city she loves had its beginnings, her fame as woman and mayor has spread across the world. In Canada, the United States, Europe and more distant countries her picture has been reproduced, her quotes reported. As mayor of the nation's capital, Charlotte Whitton has often vied for attention with the leading figures of the national scene who share Ottawa's international limelight. Miss Charlotte Whitton, C.B.E., Master of Arts (Queen's), Doctor of Civil Laws, Doctor of Laws and Letters of five universities, entered politics from the welfare field. A reigning champion of her sex, Mayor Whitton, 67, works 16 hours every day, drives herself to work in an eight-year-old car, misses many a meal as the pressure builds up, faces her voters and fellow citizens with a no-favours-asked attitude of "I'm no angel, but I'm a good mayor"'. Today, as full of zest as ever and invigorated by recent travels to Russia and other European countries, Ottawa's lady mayor faces the future with a hard-to-match mixture of pugnaciousness, serenity, forcefulness and charm.