Bob Chiarelli

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The Honourable
Robert Chiarelli
Member of Provincial Parliament
Assumed office
March 4, 2010
Preceded by Jim Watson
Constituency Ottawa West—Nepean
In office
September 10, 1987 – July 23, 1997
Preceded by Reuben Baetz
Succeeded by Alex Cullen
Constituency Ottawa West
57th Mayor of Ottawa
1st Mayor post-amalgamation
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 1, 2006
Preceded by Allan Higdon (interim)
Succeeded by Larry O'Brien
Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton
In office
Preceded by Peter D. Clark
Succeeded by position abolished
Personal details
Born (1941-09-24) September 24, 1941 (age 72)
Political party Ontario Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Carol Barbara Chiarelli (deceased)
Religion Roman Catholicism

Robert "Bob" Chiarelli (born September 24, 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario) is a Canadian politician. He served in the Ontario Legislative Assembly from 1987 to 1997, and was subsequently re-elected to the legislature in 2010[1] after serving as regional chair and mayor of Ottawa from 1997 to 2006. In August 2010, he joined the provincial cabinet as Minister of Infrastructure. On October 20, 2011 he added the role of Minister of Transportation.[2] He is of Italian origin in the city of Cleto.

Early life[edit]

Chiarelli was raised in the Little Italy area of Ottawa near Preston Street. His parents were wealthy entrepreneurs owning a number of stores in the neighbourhood. Robert was the youngest of their seven children. Chiarelli was an ice hockey player in high school and attended Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, on a hockey scholarship. At Clarkson he joined Theta Chi Fraternity. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and then returned to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa law school. He began his legal practice in 1969, specializing in corporate law.[citation needed]

Prior to entering politics in 1980, Chiarelli was a lawyer and businessman in the Ottawa area. He served for seven years on the National Capital Commission before running for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 1987 provincial election.

Career at Queen's Park[edit]

Chiarelli ran as a candidate of the Liberal Party of Ontario and was easily elected in Ottawa West, which had previously been regarded as a safe Progressive Conservative seat. He was not included in the cabinet of David Peterson, though he served as the parliamentary assistant to the Chair of the Management Board in 1987–88. Chiarelli was re-elected in the provincial elections of 1990 and 1995,[3] though by narrower margins against his Progressive Conservative opponents. Chiarelli endorsed Dalton McGuinty's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996.[3]

He resigned his seat in 1997, after his wife Carol died of cancer on December 27, 1996, leaving behind three children. His second cousin, Rick Chiarelli, unsuccessfully attempted to succeed him in the 1999 provincial election.

Municipal politics[edit]

In 1997, Robert Chiarelli was elected as Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton. For the next three years, he advocated eliminating the region's "two-tiered" government, and amalgamating the regional municipalities into a single city. The provincial government of Mike Harris did this in 2000, and Chiarelli declared himself a candidate to become the first mayor of the amalgamated city of Ottawa.

Chiarelli was elected as the first mayor of the newly amalgamated city of Ottawa on November 13, 2000, and was re-elected on November 10, 2003 (see 2003 Ottawa election for full results).

2006 election[edit]

A map showing the distribution of Chiarelli's vote in the 2006 election. His best areas were his home district around Carlingwood and the southern suburbs that were to have been serviced by his O-Train plan.

In the 2006 election, he ran for re-election against two main opponents: former Kanata councillor Alex Munter, and businessman Larry O'Brien. Terry Kilrea, runner-up to Chiarelli in 2003, campaigned through the summer but withdrew when it seemed left-wing candidate Alex Munter had taken the lead. Kilrea decided to support Chiarelli for the remainder of the campaign.

Chiarelli's main project was the expansion of the city's light-rail system: a north-south line would run from Barrhaven to downtown Ottawa starting in 2009. His opponents in the election alleged that the project had been undertaken without sufficient consultation or communication with the public. The project was cancelled shortly after his departure of City Hall.

Chiarelli also had plans to improve the east end of the city. He introduced a 10-point revitalization plan that would include attracting more jobs and businesses east of the Rideau River in order to improve its economic development. He also planned to build new roads to improve connections between Orleans and the south end of the city.[4] Also he promised to expand the existing bike trail system with additional trails connecting suburban and rural areas of Ottawa.

In a survey conducted by UniMarketing during the week of October 13, 2006, Chiarelli placed second with an 11-point percentage deficit on Munter but had a three-point advantage over O'Brien among the most likely to vote. In the election, he finished in third position with just over 15% of the vote and lost the mayoral position to O'Brien.

Return to provincial politics[edit]

On January 31, 2010, Chiarelli was acclaimed as the Ontario Liberal Party candidate in the by-election to succeed Jim Watson (who became Mayor of Ottawa) in Ottawa West–Nepean.[5] He won the by-election, which was held on March 4.[1] Chiarelli was re-elected in the 2014 general election.[6]

Electoral record[edit]

Ontario general election, 1987
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 16,343
Progressive Conservative Derek Insley 9,951
New Democratic Paul Weinzweig 4,403
Family Coalition Lynn McPherson 1,689

Ontario general election, 1990: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 13,908
Progressive Conservative Brian Mackey 9,068
New Democratic Allan Edwards 8,391
Confederation of Regions David Boyd 1,044
Family Coalition Ian Whyte 1,011
Ontario general election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal (x)Bob Chiarelli 14,516
Progressive Conservative Greg Joy 12,898
New Democratic Karim Ismaili 3,718
Green Stephen Johns 448
Independent Andy Sammon 241
Natural Law Stan Lamothe 96
Provincial by-election on March 4, 2010[7]
Resignation of Jim Watson
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 12,353 43.45% -7.1
Progressive Conservative Beth Graham 11,086 38.99% +7.3
New Democratic Pam Fitzgerald 2,404 8.45% -1.3
Green Mark Mackenzie 2,359 8.30% +2.0
Independent John Turmel 230 0.81% *

Ontario general election, 2014: Ottawa West—Nepean
** Preliminary results — Not yet official **
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 21,328 45.68 +4.06
Progressive Conservative Randall Denley 15,540 33.29 -6.06
New Democratic Alex Cullen 6,673 14.29 -0.51
Green Alex Hill 2,807 6.01 +2.67
Libertarian Matthew Brooks 338 0.72
Total valid votes 46,686 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing +5.06

Table of offices held[edit]

Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Brad Duguid (Energy and Infrastructure) Minister of Infrastructure
August 18, 2010-February 11, 2013
Glen Murray
Kathleen Wynne Minister of Transportation
October 20, 2011-February 11, 2013
Glen Murray
Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Christopher Bentley Minister of Energy
February 11, 2013-


  1. ^ a b Howlett, Karen (March 4, 2010). "McGuinty Liberals win narrow victory in Ottawa by-election". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ |url=
  3. ^ a b Sherring, Susan (January 18, 2010). "Bob makes run for Queen's Park". Ottawa Sun. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Chiarelli reveals 10-point plan". Ottawa Citizen. October 19, 2006. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ Macleod, Ian (February 1, 2010). "Liberals acclaim Bob Chiarelli in Ottawa-West Nepean race". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "MPP Watson to run for Ottawa mayor". CBC News, January 12, 2010.

External links[edit]