|Italian Senator for North America and Central America|
|Preceded by||Renato Turano|
|Succeeded by||Renato Turano|
|Saint-Leonard City Councillor, Ward Eight|
|Preceded by||Rosario Ortona|
|Succeeded by||Vincenzo Arciresi|
|Political party||The People of Freedom|
Basilio Giordano (born February 3, 1952) is an Italian and Canadian politician and journalist. He was a city councillor in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Leonard from 1982 to 1990 and served in the Italian Senate from 2008 to 2013, representing Italian voters in North and Central America as a member of Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party.
Early life and career
Giordano was born in Frascineto, Calabria. While living in Italy, he studied languages and literature at the Sapienza University of Rome and worked in the Vatican's Congregazione di Propaganda Fide. After moving to North America in 1975, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in languages from the Université de Montréal (1980). Giordano's biography indicates that he is fluent in Italian, English, French, and Spanish.
Giordano was a political aide to Saint-Leonard mayor Michel Bissonnet from 1978 to 1980 and continued to work for Bissonnet after the latter's election to the National Assembly of Quebec in the 1981.
Giordano was elected to the Saint-Leonard city council in 1982 as a member of mayor Antonio di Ciocco's Équipe du renouveau de la cité de Saint-Léonard. This party dissolved after di Ciocco's death in 1984, and Giordano became a founding member of the successor Ralliement de Saint-Léonard (RdSL) party led by new mayor Raymond Renaud. He was re-elected under the new party's banner in 1986. After an internal party crisis in 1988, he was one of only two councillors to remain aligned with Renaud; the other eight RdSL representatives resigned to sit as independents.
Giordano become the editor of Il Cittadino Canadese, a community journal for Montreal's Italian community, in 1986.
In 1997, Il Cittadino Canadese accused Carlo Selvaggi, the Italian consul-general in Montreal, of threatening to end the Italian government's financial support for the paper. Il Cittadino Canadese had previously featured an article that accused the consulate of inaccessibility and inefficiency. Selvaggi subsequently met Giordano for a private conversation about the article, and Giordano recorded their conversation. At one stage, Selvaggi said, "If you wish to continue receiving a financial grant, you must stop publishing articles against the consulate." This was perceived by some as a threat, though Selvaggi later denied this and clarified that only the Italian government could make a decision to cancel funding.
Later political career in Canada
A vocal supporter of Canadian federalism, Basilio criticized an open letter written by fourteen prominent Italian Montrealers in 1996 on the grounds that allowed for the possibility of Quebec separatism. He wanted to seek the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies in the 1997 federal election, but ultimately chose not to stand against party favourite Yvon Charbonneau. In 2007, he ran for the Liberal nomination in Papineau and finished third against Justin Trudeau.
In 2010, former Member of the National Assembly (MNA) William Cusano was awarded $25,000 in a defamation suit against Giordano and Il Cittadino Canadese. The paper had printed an anonymous letter during the 2007 federal nomination contest that alleged Cusano supported a "non-Italian" (Trudeau) in return for the promise of a patronage job. The letter also made the false suggestion that Cusano had "a tendency toward alcohol." Quebec Superior Court judge Pierre Journet ruled that the letter was "false and defamatory" and that Giordano had become a co-author by changing its content before publication.
Giordano was elected to the Italian Senate in the 2008 general election, representing Italian voters in North America and Central America. He served on the foreign affairs committee and the committee for Italians living abroad, and was a supporter of Silvio Berlusconi's government until its resignation in 2011.
- Montreal municipal
|2001 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Saint-Léonard (three members elected)
|1986 Saint-Leonard municipal election results: Councillor, Ward Eight
|1982 Saint-Leonard municipal election results: Councillor, Ward Eight
- Senate biography (in Italian)
- Biografia del Senatore Basilio Giordano, basiliogiordano.com, accessed 8 July 2011.
- André Desroches, "Basilio Giordano tente un retour sur la scène politique" Progrès Villeray, 21 April 2007, accessed 8 July 2011.
- Debbie Parkes, "Five new candidates join St. Leonard mayor's slate", Montreal Gazette, 2 October 1986, X8.
- Amorell Saunders, "Eight St. Leonard city councillors quit mayor's 'undemocratic' party", Montreal Gazette, 5 May 1988, A3.
- Irwin Block, "Flap over funding: Italian weekly, consul-general in war of words", Montreal Gazette, 9 April 1997, A4.
- Irwin Block, "Sovereignty letters divide Montreal's Italian community," Montreal Gazette, 16 October 1996, A14.
- Irwin Block, "Ex-union leader Charbonneau seeks federal Liberal nomination", Montreal Gazette, 18 March 1997, A14.
- Allan Woods, "'A man with a dream'; Trudeau, who handily defeated two opponents, insists that despite his famous name he's more than just his father's son", Montreal Gazette, 30 April 2007, A6. Trudeau received 690 votes, while councillor Mary Deros received 350 and Giordano received 220. (These numbers may be approximations.)
- Irwin Block, "Former Liberal MNA wins defamation suit; Italian newspaper editor ordered to pay $25,000 for printing anonymous letter", Montreal Gazette, 31 July 2010, A6.
- "How Montreal voted", Montreal Gazette, 5 November 2001, A8.
- Basilio Giordano remporte le siège de l’Amérique du Nord et Centrale, Progrès Saint-Léonard, 21 April 2008, accessed 8 July 2011.
- Attività Parlamentare, basiliogiordano.com, accessed 8 July 2011.
- Senate results, North America and Central America, Italian Ministry of the Interior, accessed 27 February 2013.