Annamarie Castrilli

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Annamarie Castrilli
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Anthony Perruzza
Succeeded by Riding abolished
Constituency Downsview
Personal details
Born 1949 (age 67–68)
Political party Liberal, 1995-1999
Conservative, 1999
Residence North York, Ontario
Occupation Lawyer

Annamarie Castrilli (born 1949) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. A lawyer, and university lecturer, she sat on several boards of directors, including being the chair of the University of Toronto's Governing Council. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in the 1995 Ontario general election as a Liberal, and served as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) through June 1999. In 1996, she ran for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party, but finished sixth. After losing a nomination battle in her newly constituted constituency, she crossed the floor to the governing Progressive Conservatives on the day the 1999 Ontario general election was called. She ran in that campaign as a Conservative candidate in Parkdale—High Park, but lost to one of her fellow Liberal leadership contenders, Gerard Kennedy. She has not run for public office since.


Castrilli was educated at the University of Toronto, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1969, a Master of Arts degree in 1970, and a Ph.D. in 1977.[1] She subsequently attended Osgoode Hall Law School, receiving an LL.B. in 1984.[2] She worked as an Associate Lawyer with the firm of Harries, Hauser, Loudon & Syron from 1985 to 1989 and was a Tax Partner with Bratty and Partners in 1990. From 1991 to 1995, she ran a private practice as a corporate lawyer.[1]

Castrilli also served on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto from 1989 to 1995 (including two years as Chair), was a trustee with the Sunnybrook Hospital from 1993 to 1995, and was a director of the Royal Ontario Museum, also from 1993 to 1995.[1] She was a founding member of the Italian Canadian Women's Alliance in 1976, and of the Women's Intercultural Council in 1988. Before entering politics, she had written several articles on multiculturalism, women's issues and human rights.[2]


In the provincial election of 1995, Castrilli was elected as a Liberal in the northwest Toronto riding of Downsview, defeating incumbent New Democrat Anthony Perruzza by 360 votes.[3] The general election was won by the Progressive Conservatives, and Castrilli became the Opposition Critic for Colleges and Universities, also serving as Associate Critic to the Attorney-General.[4] Fellow Liberals MPPs soon dubbed her "La Contessa" because of her patrician demeanour.[5]

When Lyn McLeod resigned as Liberal leader in 1996, Castrilli entered the race to succeed her. Her candidacy did not receive widespread support, and she placed sixth of out seven candidates on the first ballot. Castrilli initially withdrew from the contest but changed her mind a few minutes later, causing a delay in the voting process as the ballots needed to be reprinted.[6] She again placed sixth and was forced out of the contest, giving her support to eventual winner Dalton McGuinty.[7] (See Ontario Liberal Leadership Conventions.)

Castrilli initially planned to run as a Liberal in the 1999 provincial election, but was defeated for the party's nomination in York Centre by fellow caucus member Monte Kwinter.[8] The Progressive Conservative government had previously reduced the number of constituencies from 130 to 103, forcing several incumbent Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to compete against one another for renomination.[9]

On the last sitting day of the legislature, Castrilli crossed the floor to sit as a Progressive Conservative.[8] She won the PC nomination in the Parkdale—High Park constituency, and faced high-profile Liberal MPP Gerard Kennedy in the general election.[8] Kennedy and Castrilli were both candidates for the Liberal party leadership in 1996; she placed sixth while he finished second to McGuinty in the leadership contest.[8] One of Castrilli's most prominent supporters was John Nunziata, an Independent member of the Canadian House of Commons who had left the Liberal Party of Canada in 1996.

The contest between Kennedy and Castrilli was expected to be close, but it was not when Kennedy won with 23,030 votes, while Castrilli received 12,699.[10][11]

Later life[edit]

She subsequently created "Partnership with Ontarians" to promote the province for international business, and is now a member of SEADAC Strategic Consultants.

In the federal election of 2004, Castrilli supported Conservative Party candidate Michael Mostyn. Later in the year, she was co-chair of Jim Flaherty's unsuccessful bid to lead the provincial Tories.


  1. ^ a b c Wright, Lisa (1996-10-16). "Trilingual lawyer defies gender jinx". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A21. 
  2. ^ a b "Biographical Sketches. "Elsa Amadio, Annamarie Castrilli and Maria Minna". Italian Canadiana. Toronto: Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies, University of Toronto. 11: 10–16. 1995. 
  3. ^ Chief Returning Officer. "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate: Downsview". General Election of 1995. Elections Ontario. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  4. ^ "Annamaria Castrilli, MPP". Past and Present MPPs. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  5. ^ Crone, Greg (1996-11-29). "Liberals gather to pick leader: Convention could see last old-style wheeling, dealing". The Hamilton Spectator. p. D10. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  6. ^ Toughhill, Kelly (1996-12-01). "Convention snarled by 'ridiculous' foul-ups". The Toronto Star. Toronto. pp. A1,A6. 
  7. ^ Walkom, Thomas (1996-12-01). "Marathon vote reveals splits, pettiness in party". The Toronto Star. Toronto. p. A6. 
  8. ^ a b c d Rusk, James; Immen, Wallace (1999-05-06). "MPP quits Liberals to enter Tory race". The Globe and Mail. p. A12. 
  9. ^ Urquhart, Ian (1997-07-12). "Lots of ego in nasty Liberal riding fight". The Toronto Star. p. B5. 
  10. ^ Campbell, Murray (1999-05-26). "Party defections add some spice to Parkdale". The Globe and Mail. p. A7. 
  11. ^ Chief Returning Officer of Ontario. "Parkdale–High Park Results". Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate. Elections Ontario. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 

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