John Nunziata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Nunziata
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for York South—Weston
In office
Preceded by Ursula Appolloni
Succeeded by Alan Tonks
Personal details
Born (1955-01-04) January 4, 1955 (age 59)
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Political party Liberal 1982-1996
Spouse(s) Caroline Brett (div., 2007)[1]
Children 3
Profession Lawyer

John Nunziata (born January 4, 1955) is a government lobbyist, lawyer and former Canadian politician. He served in the Canadian House of Commons from 1984 to 2000, initially as a Liberal and later as an independent member. He works as a lobbyist specializing in municipal issues.


Nunziata was born in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and was educated at York University and Osgoode Hall Law School. He worked as a lawyer before entering public life.

Nunziata's sister, Frances Nunziata, was the last mayor of the city of York, Ontario before it was merged into the "megacity" of Toronto, and is now a Toronto city councillor for Ward 11 York South-Weston.

On October 20, 2008, Nunziata was arrested by Toronto Police and charged with assaulting his ex-wife's boyfriend, Murray Milthorpe, allegedly by kicking him in the buttocks. Nunziata said, "I didn't kick him. I don't know how he got the bruise on his ass, but I mean, he deserves an ass-kicking, but I didn't give it to him."[2] Subsequently, Nunziata pressed charges against Milthorpe whom he claimed was “bugging” his 14-year-old daughter at a rink where Nunziata's son was playing hockey.[3] These charges were later dropped as the police found no evidence in support of Nunziata's allegations.[4]

Following a two day trial during which he admitted under oath that he had indeed kicked Milthorpe,[1] Nunziata was found guilty of assault, and guilty on one count of breaching a court order. Nunziata was ordered to have no contact with his victim, sentenced to one year of probation and court ordered anger management classes.[5] In January 2012 the Law Society of Upper Canada started disciplinary hearings against Nunziata for lying under oath.[1] In October 2012 the Law Society found him guilty of lying and fined him $5,000 plus $6,021.41 in costs for his transgression.[6][7]


Nunziata started his career as a supporter of the New Democratic Party on a suburban Toronto city council, but left the party in the early 1980s. He campaigned as a Liberal for a 1982 provincial by-election in York South, but lost to new NDP leader Bob Rae.

Federal politics[edit]

Nunziata was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1984 general election as a Liberal despite a national Progressive Conservative landslide.[8] Nunziata thrived as a member of the opposition Rat Pack, a group of Liberal Members of Parliament (MPs) including Don Boudria, Brian Tobin, and Sheila Copps.[9]

Nunziata's ideological position in the Liberal Party was not clearly defined at this stage. He stressed "family values" and was opposed to abortion,[10] but his views on other issues were not always socially conservative. During the national debate on capital punishment in 1986, he was one of the strongest parliamentary opponents of any restoration of the death penalty. He was re-elected without difficulty in the 1988 election.

When John Turner resigned as Liberal leader, Nunziata ran to succeed him in the 1990 Liberal leadership convention. He placed last in a field of five candidates.

In the buildup to the 1993 federal election, Nunziata criticized Liberal leader Jean Chrétien for appointing Art Eggleton over a local candidate in York Centre.

On April 21, 1996, Nunziata was expelled from the Liberal caucus after he voted against the government's budget in protest over the government breaking a promise to rescind the Goods and Services Tax.

Despite the difficulties of winning a seat as an independent, Nunziata ran and won re-election in the 1997 general election without the support of any party. He defeated Toronto councillor Judy Sgro by 4,431 votes to retain his riding, and so became the only independent member elected to the new parliament.[11]

In the 2000 election, he was defeated by Liberal Alan Tonks.[12]

2003 Toronto mayoralty race[edit]

Nunziata ran for Mayor of Toronto in the Toronto's 2003 municipal election as a right wing "law and order" candidate. He pledged support for the police, and to bring the homeless off the streets and into institutional care facilities. He ultimately finished in fourth place with only five per cent of the vote.[13] Since 2003, Nunziata has become a government lobbyist and partner with the Parliamentary Group.[14]

2013 Ward 3 Appointment[edit]

Nunziata was one of several candidates for appointment to Ward 3 to replace Doug Holyday, who resigned to become an MPP. Nunziata lost out to Peter Leon.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Tyler, Tracy (10 January 2012). "Former Liberal MP John Nunziata faces Law Society disciplinary charge". Toronto Star. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "City hall's most quotable moments in 2008". Globe and Mail (Toronto). December 28, 2008. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Ex-MP John Nunziata press charges a day after he’s charged with assault". Truro Daily News. October 23, 2008. 
  4. ^ Baute, Nicole (October 21, 2008). "John Nunziata faces assault charge". Toronto Star. 
  5. ^ Godfrey, Tom (25 May 2010). "Nunziata gets probation for booting ex-wife's boyfriend". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Gray, Jeff (2 October 2012). "Former MP John Nunziata fined $5,000 for denying assault". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Scallan, Niamh (October 2, 2012). "The Star: Former MP John Nunziata fined more than $10,000 for lying about assault". The Star (Toronto: The Star). Retrieved October 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ "How Canada voted". The Globe and Mail. September 5, 1984. pp. 14–15. 
  9. ^ Hepburn, Bob (October 6, 1985). "Liberals' Rat Pack aims for credibility.". Toronto Star. p. F4. 
  10. ^ Walker, William (January 25, 1990). "Nunziata to stress family in his bid to lead Liberals". Toronto Star. p. A12. 
  11. ^ "Final Results Riding by Riding". Calgary Herald. June 4, 1997. p. A5. 
  12. ^ "Election Results". Star - Phoenix (Saskatoon, SK). November 28, 2000. p. A8. 
  13. ^ "Toronto Vote 2003 election results: Mayor". City of Toronto. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Our Team". The Parliamentary Group. Retrieved April 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Community council recommends Chris Stockwell for Ward 3 seat". CBC News. October 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]