Larry Di Ianni

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Larry Di Ianni
Larry DiIanni.jpg
54th Mayor of Hamilton
In office
2003–2006
Preceded by Robert E. Wade
Succeeded by Fred Eisenberger
Personal details
Born 1948
Villetta Barrea, Abruzzo, Italy
Political party Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Ontario
Spouse(s) Ginetta (Janet) Paolone
Profession Teacher, principal
Religion Roman Catholic

Larry Di Ianni (born Renzo Pasquale Di Ianni, 1948)[1] is an Italian-Canadian politician and educator. Di Ianni served mayor of Hamilton, Ontario, from 2003 to 2006. Prior to his tenure as mayor, he served as a town councillor in Stoney Creek and a city councillor in the amalgamated City of Hamilton. Most recently, Di Ianni ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Hamilton in 2010.

Early life

Di Ianni immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1956 as a young boy.[2] Following his father, who had immigrated years before the family and found work at Stelco, Di Ianni and his family settled in an apartment on Cannon Street. Pressured by his mother, an assembly-line worker in a shoe factory, to receive a university education, Di Ianni graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor's degree in English and went on to receive his Master's Degree in Education from the University of Toronto soon after.[3]

After graduating, Di Ianni moved with his wife Janet and three children, Robert, Paul and Stephanie, to Stoney Creek. There, Di Ianni was hired by the Hamilton-Wentworth District Catholic School Board as a high school teacher and quickly worked his way up to the position of principal.[4]

Political history

Di Ianni was first elected to Stoney Creek council in 1982, where he served for six terms until the amalgamation of the town into Hamilton. Following amalgamation, Di Ianni was elected to Hamilton City Council as councillor for Ward Ten, defeating former Stoney Creek deputy mayor Albert Marrone and town councillor Maria Pearson in a hotly contested race.[5]Di Ianni served one term as a Hamilton councillor until November 2003.

In early March, 2003, Di Ianni was approached by members of the Ontario Liberals, including then-Premier Dalton McGuinty, in an effort to convince him to run provincially against Labour Minister Brad Clark. Di Ianni ultimately declined the offer, noting that he wished to focus on municipal issues.[6]

In the same month, sitting Hamilton mayor Bob Wade announced me would not seek re-election in the 2003 municipal election. On April 28, 2003, Di Ianni announced he would seek the office of mayor indicating that he believed Hamilton to be at a crossroads with regard to development.[7] Di Ianni's main opponent in the race was former provincial NDP cabinet minister David Christopherson and the race focused considerably on the construction of the Red Hill Expressway, of which Di Ianni was in favour and Christopherson was opposed.[8] The candidates sparred frequently on the campaign trail, with Di Ianni promoting his municipal experience and support from the business community while Christopherson highlighted his time in cabinet and support from organized labour and progressive political organizations.[9] On election night, Di Ianni defeated Christopherson by a margin of 52% to 39%.[10] Speaking to reporters, Di Ianni noted he was immensely happy that the voters of Hamilton elected their first Italian-Canadian mayor by such a large margin.[11]

Di Ianni's term as mayor saw him attempt to enact his mayoral platform by addressing such issues as the completion of the Red Hill Expressway, business tax reduction, airport development, improving relations among the amalgamated municipalities, and obtaining additional social service funding from the more senior levels of government.[12]

On July 10, 2006 Di Ianni, along with two other unsuccessful candidates, were charged under the Provincial Offences Act of Ontario for violating the Municipal Elections Act of Ontario.[13] On August 24, 2006, he accepted responsibility by pleading guilty for violating the Provincial Offences Act related to accepting inappropriate campaign donations. The Superior Court Justice exercised leniency as he deemed the violations to be unintentional and considered Di Ianni's good community service record. The Justice also likened the violation to a speeding ticket and withdrew the remaining charges. He lost the mayoralty to Fred Eisenberger in the 2006 municipal election.

In the 2008 federal election, Di Ianni was the Liberal candidate in the federal riding of Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, losing the race to incumbent MP Wayne Marston of the NDP by a margin of 6,464 votes.

Di Ianni ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Hamilton in October 2010.[14]

Electoral record

e • d  Summary of the October 25, 2010 Hamilton, Ontario Mayoral Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Bob Bratina 52,684 37.32% n/a
Larry Di Ianni 40,091 28.40% -14.44%
Fred Eisenberger (incumbent) 38,719 27.43% -15.78%
Michael Baldasaro 2,892 2.05% -1.56%
Tone Marrone 1,052 0.75% n/a
Mahesh Butani 950 0.67% n/a
Glenn Hamilton 949 0.67% n/a
Pasquale (Pat) Filice 768 0.54% n/a
Ken Leach 577 0.41% n/a
Andrew Haines 557 0.39% n/a
Mark Wozny 433 0.31% n/a
Steven Waxman 429 0.30% n/a
Edward Graydon 404 0.29% n/a
Gino Speziale 356 0.25% -0.77%
Victor Veri 313 0.22% n/a
Total Votes 141,174 100%
Registered Voters 353,317 40.45% +3.2%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
Note: Candidate campaign colours are based on the prominent colour used in campaign items (signs, literature, etc.)
and are used as a visual differentiation between candidates.
Sources: Hamilton, Ontario City Clerk's Office
e • d  Summary of the November 13, 2006 Hamilton, Ontario Mayoral Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Fred Eisenberger 54,110 43.21% n/a
Larry Di Ianni (Incumbent) 53,658 42.84% -8.08%
Diane Elms 9,459 7.55% n/a
Michael Baldasaro 4,520 3.61% +1.76%
Gino Speziale 1,274 1.02 n/a
Steve Leach 1,250 1.00 n/a
Martin S. Zuliniak 968 0.77 n/a
Total Votes 126,986 100%
Registered Voters 340,941 37.25% -0.72%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
Note: Candidate campaign colours are based on the prominent colour used in campaign items (signs, literature, etc.)
and are used as a visual differentiation between candidates.
Sources: Hamilton, Ontario City Clerk's Office
e • d  Candidates for the November 10, 2003 Hamilton, Ontario Mayoral Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Larry DiIanni 70,539 50.92%
David Christopherson 54,298 39.20%
Dick Wildeman 4,462 3.22%
Michael Peters 3,270 2.36%
Tom Murray 2,881 2.08%
Michael Baldasaro 2,569 1.85%
Matt Jelly 510 0.37%
Total Votes 139,902 37.97%
Registered Voters 368,480 100%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
Note: Candidate campaign colours are based on the prominent colour used in campaign items (signs, literature, etc.)
and are used as a visual differentiation between candidates.
Sources: City of Hamilton, "2003 Results"

References

  1. ^ "The Life and Times of Renzo Pasquale Di Ianni," urbanicity, April 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Dan Nolan, "Di Ianni offers continuity in bid for mayor," Hamilton Spectator, April 29, 2003, pp. A03.
  3. ^ Chinta Puxley, "The Candidates: Larry Di Ianni," Hamilton Spectator, November 7, 2003, pp. A04.
  4. ^ Chinta Puxley, "The Candidates: Larry Di Ianni," Hamilton Spectator, November 7, 2003, pp. A04.
  5. ^ John Burman, "Veteran DiIanni the victor in Ward 10; Race offered a unique set of challenges," Hamilton Spectator, November 14, 2000, pp. D06.
  6. ^ "Di Ianni rejects Grits' bid to run," Hamilton Spectator, March 15, 2003, pp. A10.
  7. ^ Dan Nolan, "Di Ianni offers continuity in bid for mayor," Hamilton Spectator, April 29, 2003, pp. A03.
  8. ^ Andrew Dreschel, "Di Ianni's two-way race invention an inspired act; Councillor's first big speech of his mayoral campaign aimed at Christopherson," Hamilton Spectator, June 27, 2003, pp. A03.
  9. ^ "Down to Wire for Mayor's Chair; Frontrunners in mayoral race offer distinct choices for voters," Hamilton Spectator, November 4, 2003, pp. A01.
  10. ^ 2003 City of Hamilton Election Results
  11. ^ Eric McGuinness and Joan Walters, "Di Ianni New Mayor; City's first Italian-Canadian mayor says huge vote of confidence puts the Red Hill issue to bed," Hamilton Spectator, November 11, 2003, pp. A01.
  12. ^ Smoove D: An Interview with Mayor Larry Di Ianni
  13. ^ Provincial Offences Act of Ontario
  14. ^ City of Hamilton 2010 Municipal Election Results