Jody Mitic is a respected Ottawa City Councillor representing Innes Ward, but that professional title only captures part of what makes his contributions to this community exemplary, because Jody served for twenty years in the Canadian Armed Forces, putting into action his belief in his country and in the idea of democracy.
Jody lost both legs to a landmine on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, and since that time he has not only worked fiercely to rehabilitate his own body – becoming a model of perseverance and courage to others living with injury and disability – but has acted as a champion for accessible communities and wounded veterans, raising significant funds and awareness through his speaking engagements, his books and his public leadership.
What makes Ottawa special to you?
Ottawa has become an incredibly special place for me since I moved here in 2007. Ever since my election to Ottawa City Council representing Innes Ward in 2014, that feeling has only grown stronger. Ottawa and the citizens of Innes Ward especially, have given me the opportunity to continue to serve my country, something I cherish everyday. I moved to Ottawa for my final posting in my military career. Consequently, Ottawa became the place where I settled down and started a family. Watching my two beautiful daughters grow up in a city that has so much to offer them is incredibly special.
What do you love most about living and working in Ottawa?
Without a doubt, I can say that it is the people of Ottawa who make this city such a great one. Everyday I see proof of the City’s strong sense of community, kindness and drive. I’m truly impressed by the residents of Innes Ward and the amount of effort they put in to making positive changes in our community – I’m sure my council colleagues would all say the same about their residents which really shows how great Ottawa is. I love that the feeling of team work is something we can still experience in a city as large as ours.
The work that you do helps to make Ottawa a better place – why is this important to you?
Serving as an Ottawa City Councillor and as the City’s Sports Commissioner is very important to me because it is a way for me to continue serving my country after my military career came to an end a lot sooner than I had hoped. I consider municipal government especially important and meaningful because when something gets done, it has a direct impact on somebody’s day to day life. For example, I was recently able to make sure stools were installed in the lobby of the Blackburn Hamlet arena. This may seem like a trivial accomplishment to most but for the grandparents of the kids who play hockey at the arena, it means they can comfortably watch their grandkids play hockey without having to worry about their health and safety as they used to when they were sitting in the cold bleachers.
You give back to the Ottawa community in various ways – is there one Ottawa-related achievement of which you are most proud?
One of my proudest moments as a Councillor for Innes Ward was the day I attended the opening ceremony for the Miracle Field of Ottawa – an accessible baseball field made possible by the incredible efforts of the Miracle League of Ottawa. I am no stranger to the woes of accessibility. Championing improvements to facilities to make sure everyone, no matter what, can access them is something that has been very important to me as an individual and now as a City Councillor. I am proud of the improvements that have been made so far but there is still a lot of work to be done.
What do you hope for Ottawa in the future?
As mentioned, I hope that in the future improvements to accessibility continue to be made to ensure that anyone can enjoy the things that the City of Ottawa has to offer. As an elected official and as someone who fought for the principles and values of democracy, I hope to see an even more politically engaged population. Whether its more people seeking public office, more people heading to the polls on election day or more phones ringing in politician’s offices, its important that we all exercise the rights we have in this great country.