|Ottawa City Councillor|
|Preceded by||Jacquelin Holzman|
|Succeeded by||Ron Kolbus|
|Ottawa-Carleton Regional Councillor|
|Preceded by||Jacquelin Holzman|
|Succeeded by||Wendy Byrne|
|Constituency||Richmond Ward, then Bay Ward|
|Member of Provincial Parliament|
|Preceded by||Bob Chiarelli|
|Succeeded by||Gary Guzzo|
|Ottawa City Councillor|
|Preceded by||Ron Kolbus|
|Succeeded by||Mark Taylor|
|Born||February 18, 1951
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
Alexander Shaun Cullen (born February 18, 1951 in Montreal, Quebec) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a former Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and a former member of Ottawa City Council, representing the Bay Ward in Ottawa's west end.
Early life and city politics
Cullen was born February 18, 1951 in Montreal to a Dutch mother and an Irish father, who was a sea captain-turned successful businessman in Montreal. Cullen attended Lower Canada College in Montreal before moving to Ottawa to attend Carleton University. At Carleton, he was the President of the Carleton University Student Liberals and served on the Carleton University Students Association as Arts Representative and later as Vice-President of CUSA. However, he didn't finish at Carleton due to poor grades. He worked at Fat Albert's in Ottawa (a sub shop) before heading to Toronto, where he worked as a bank teller and savings supervisor. He then went to York University in Toronto, where he obtained both a Bachelor's degree (Honours) and a Master's degree in economics. He also became a member of Mensa. Cullen later returned to Ottawa to work initially for Informetrica (an economics consulting firm) as an economist, moving on to the federal Department of Health and Welfare as a policy analyst. There he joined the Economists', Statisticians' & Sociologists' Association (ESSA - a federal public service union), where he rose to Vice-President.
In 1982 he was elected school board trustee with the Ottawa Board of Education. In the 1985 provincial election, he ran as a Liberal candidate in the riding of Ottawa West but lost to Ontario Progressive Conservative Party incumbent Reuben Baetz, a cabinet minister, by about 3,000 votes. Easily re-elected as a school board trustee in 1985, Cullen again sought the Liberal nomination to run in the Ottawa West riding in the 1987 election, but lost to local lawyer Bob Chiarelli. During this time Cullen was also active in Kiwanis, serving as President of the Westboro Kiwanis Club in 1985-86.
He ran for Ottawa City Council in 1988 in the Richmond Ward, but lost to incumbent Jacquelin Holzman. When Holzman vacated the seat to successfully run for mayor in the 1991 election, Cullen, then a community association president in the ward (Glabar Park Community Alliance), ran again and won the seat in a close three-way race.
As an Ottawa City Councillor he also served jointly on the Council of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. In 1994 Cullen was elected as the first Regional Councillor for Bay Ward, when provincial legislation created a directly-elected Regional Council. In 1996, Cullen supported Dalton McGuinty to lead the Ontario Liberal Party (Ottawa Citizen, 2 December 1996).
In 1997, Bob Chiarelli resigned from the Legislature to run for Chair of the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality. In the subsequent Ottawa West by-election, Cullen ran for the Liberals and was easily elected as MPP. He soon gained national prominence as the only provincial legislator in the country to vote against the Calgary Declaration, as he opposed any document that would give Quebec unequal powers under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This vote made him unpopular within the Liberal Party. In the run-up to the 1999 provincial election, Cullen was challenged for the Liberal nomination in the new riding of Ottawa West-Nepean by Rick Chiarelli, a Nepean city councillor. After a contentious nomination battle, Chiarelli emerged victorious and on November 15, 1988 Cullen was expelled from the Liberal caucus and sat as an independent MPP. He joined the New Democratic Party a few weeks later, and subsequently won the NDP nomination in the riding.
Return to city council
Cullen went on to become Executive Director of the Council on Aging, a United Way agency and lobby group for seniors. Cullen was elected to represent Bay Ward in newly amalgamated City of Ottawa in 2000, and was re-elected in 2003 and 2006, defeating high profile right-wing challenger Terry Kilrea. During his tenure Cullen served as Chair of the City's Transit Committee (responsible for public transit service in Ottawa), and on the Board of Directors of Ottawa Community Housing (the City's social housing agency) and Hydro Ottawa.
On January 4, 2010, Cullen filed his nomination to run for mayor in Ottawa's 2010 municipal election. On August 31, Cullen dropped out of the race, citing low funds, the addition of another left wing candidate (Clive Doucet) and a desire to defeat Terry Kilrea in Bay Ward.  On October 25, 2010, Cullen lost in his bid for re-election in Bay Ward to challenger Mark Taylor. Cullen cited his late entry into the race in Bay Ward as the reason for his loss. 
Return to provincial politics
In January, 2013 Cullen sought the Ontario NDP nomination in the riding of Ottawa Centre for the Next Ontario general election, but was defeated by Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Trustee Jennifer McKenzie. Cullen subsequently won the Ontario NDP nomination in the riding of Ottawa West-Nepean.
Cullen is currently married to his third wife, Parliament Hill staffer Theresa Kavanagh. Cullen has 2 sons and a daughter from his previous marriages. Cullen is also active in sports: a long-time cross-country skier, Cullen has participated in the Gatineau (formerly the Keskinada) Loppet and the Canadian Ski Marathon many times (achieving bronze, silver & gold Courier de bois in the CSM). In 2006 he began running marathons (including Ottawa, Toronto and New York), and began participating in triathlons. In 2008 and in 2010 Cullen was awarded the Rudy Award for completing the Winter Triathlon, the Keskinada Loppet (53 km), the Ottawa Marathon, the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour (biking 180 km from Ottawa to Kingston and back), and the Canadian Iron Distance (3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling, 42.2 km running).
- "Cullen seeks Ottawa mayor's seat". CBC News. 2010-01-04. Archived from the original on 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
- "Alex Cullen shoots for NDP nomination in Ottawa West-Nepean". Ottawa Citizen. 2013-03-18. Retrieved 2013-04-30.
- "Local Rudy Award (Rudy Hollywood)". Retrieved 2009-07-24.[dead link]
|City councillors from Bay Ward
Bob Chiarelli, Liberal
|Member of Provincial Parliament from Ottawa West
|City councillors from Richmond Ward