Bob Bratina

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Bob Bratina
Former Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by Wayne Marston
56th Mayor of Hamilton
In office
December 1, 2010 – December 3, 2014
Preceded by Fred Eisenberger
Succeeded by Fred Eisenberger
Hamilton City Councillor
In office
October 5, 2006 – December 1, 2010
Preceded by Andrea Horwath
Succeeded by Jason Farr
Constituency Ward Two
Personal details
Born 1943/1944 (age 72–73)[1]
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Political party Liberal Party of Canada[2]
Other political
Ontario Liberal Party[3]
Profession Radio Broadcaster

Bob Bratina is a Canadian broadcaster and politician who served as the 56th Mayor of Hamilton, Ontario from 2010 to 2014. Prior to becoming mayor, he served on Hamilton City Council. Bratina is currently the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek.[4]


Bratina was born and raised in Hamilton. He is of Serbian and Croatian ancestry.[5][6][7][8] After graduating from Delta High School, he worked with Dofasco for two years as a lab technician. Always wanting to work in radio, he found his first broadcasting job at CJCS Stratford in 1965 and went on to become one of Canada's most successful and versatile on-air personalities. Bratina was the morning show co-host with Shiona Thompson on CHML Radio in Hamilton, until September 2010, when he decided to resign his co-host job to run for Mayor of Hamilton. At times he has achieved record high ratings (BBM 22 Share) of all morning shows in Hamilton. He also re-introduced phone-in talk radio to CFRB, and achieved highest listenership (120 thousand per quarter-hour average) in Toronto in his time period.

Bratina was also the play-by-play voice of Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Toronto Argonauts for a total of 20 seasons, and never missed a broadcast for more than 500 games. He also broadcast McMaster Football and Basketball games, and was commentator on junior hockey broadcasts in Kitchener (CKKW) and Senior A hockey in Guelph (Regals).

The Balkan Strings featuring Bob Bratina, Hamilton Wingfest 2008

He is a member of the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame, Queen's Jubilee Medal Winner for lifetime community achievement, nominee for Hamilton Citizen of the Year, Hamilton Mountain Citizen of the Year, member of GO Transit Board of Directors, Art Gallery of Hamilton Board of Directors, Theatre Aquarius Board of Directors, and HECFI Board of Directors.[9][10]

Mayor and musician Bob Bratina playing hydraulophone at the Hamilton Children's Water Festival, May 30, 2012

Bratina is also an avid marathon runner (18 marathons, including Boston Marathon), Hamilton's Around the Bay Road Race (10 times, PB 2:07:07 age 45) 1/2 marathon 1:26; 10K 37:45; 5K 17:30 all after the age of 44.[citation needed] As a musician, Bob performs with the Balkan Strings Tamburitza Orchestra, playing brac, clarinet, saxophone and accordion.[citation needed]

Bob is married to Carol, a teacher, artist, and singer with the Balkan Strings. They have one son, Sam, a university student who has completed degrees at McMaster University and the University of Waterloo.[citation needed]

Municipal politics[edit]

Bratina was elected in a 2004 by-election called upon the previous councillor, Andrea Horwath's, election as MPP for Hamilton Centre. Bratina campaigned on a platform of citizen participation at City Hall, downtown revitalization and greater integrity at city hall.[11] He was reelected in the 2006 municipal election.

During his time as Ward Two councillor, Bratina advocated for transportation changes in Hamilton, such as returning rail passenger service to Hamilton's GO Centre and moving idling buses from the downtown Gore Park area to a new transit terminal on MacNab Street.

Due to the age of many of the buildings in Bratina's downtown ward, he became a vocal advocate for updating Hamilton's aging lead-based infrastructure. His concerns over high lead readings in city drinking water resulted in a lead water service replacement loan program and a lead blood screening program for young children

A controversial public figure, Bratina was both rated as one of Hamilton's most trustworthy politicians by readers of View Magazine and publicly criticized for unprofessional conduct, including an incident in which he tossed a pen during a council meeting.[12]

In late summer of 2010, Bratina announced that he would not seek re-election in Ward Two, opting instead to run for mayor against incumbent Fred Eisenberger and former mayor Larry Di Ianni, citing his reasoning as what he believed to be Eisenberger's poor handling of the site-selection process for a proposed stadium to be built in preparation for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.[13] Bratina lead in opinion polls for much of the campaign and, on election night, won 37.32% of the vote and carried 12 of the city's 15 wards to become the city's 57th mayor.[14]

In December 2011 Bratina defended a $30,000 pay increase for his chief of staff, Peggy Chapman, by saying that the city's human resources department was responsible.[15] Bratina later wrote an email complaining that The Hamilton Spectator was producing false and misleading news coverage of the incident.[16] Acting on a complaint, Earl Basse, the city's integrity commissioner, presented a report to Council on in May 2012 concluding that Bratina had violated Section 13.2(b) of the Council Code of Conduct and officially reprimanded Bratina.[17]

Bratina and his Ward Two successor, Jason Farr, were political opponents, including one contentious episode during which Farr claimed Bratina attempted to intimidate Hamilton's City Manager, Chris Murray.[18] After the city council voted to refer it to the Integrity Commissioner, the subsequent report found that Bratina's actions were "not appropriate" but did not violate the Council Code of Conduct.[19][20]

As mayor, Bratina spoke out against the city's light rail transit plan, advocating instead for improvements to the Hamilton Street Railway's bus service and increases in GO Transit frequency, which brought him into opposition with some members of the council.[21] Hamilton City Council approved the city's LRT plan in February 2013, Bratina but continued to speak out against it, incorrectly claiming Premier Kathleen Wynne had told him Hamilton would have to choose between LRT and a Stoney Creek GO Train extension.[22]

Bratina did not run for reelection in the city's 2014 municipal elections, opting instead to seek nomination as a Liberal candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election.

Federal politics[edit]

After opting to contest Hamilton's mayoralty in 2014, Bratina was rumoured to be seeking the Liberal Party's nomination to run as a candidate in Hamilton Centre. Having previously been approached by the Liberals to challenge Hamilton Centre's New Democrat incumbent David Christopherson in 2009, speculation focused on Bratina's potential candidacy in the inner-city riding.[23] In August, 2014, Bratina announced he was seeking the Liberal nomination in the neighbouring riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, challenging New Democrat incumbent Wayne Marston.[24] Bratina was acclaimed the Liberal candidate for the riding on October 29, 2014.

In campaigning for Parliament, Bratina emphasized a platform of serving as a strong voice on Parliament Hill and continuing his fight for increased transportation funding for the GTHA corridor.[25] Bratina was elected on October 19, 2015 with 38.8% of the vote, defeating Marston, who placed second with 32.7% of the vote.[4]

Electoral record[edit]


Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Bob Bratina 19,622 38.99 +25.41
New Democratic Wayne Marston 16,465 32.71 -11.54
Conservative Diane Bubanko 12,715 25.26 -11.66
Green Erin Davis 1,305 2.59 -0.26
Communist Bob Mann 170 0.34
Marxist–Leninist Wendell Fields 55 0.11
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,332 100.00   $215,066.83
Total rejected ballots 293 0.58
Turnout 50,625 63.25
Eligible voters 80,042
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +18.48
Source: Elections Canada[26][27]


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 Ward Two Councillor Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Bob Bratina (incumbent) 4,001 66.78%
Judy MacDonald-Musitano 1,424 23.77%
Dawn Lescaudron 319 5.32%
Haider Shaikh 247 4.12%
Total votes 5,991 100%
Registered voters 19,782 31.25%
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

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Steve Arnold (5 October 2011). "Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina endorses Liberals". The Hamilton Spectator. 
  4. ^ a b Elections Canada, "Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Results"
  5. ^ "Serbian hunting club oldest of its kind in North America". The Hamilton Spectator. 11 August 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Robert Bob Bratina elected Mayor of Hamilton". Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  7. ^ "Canadian Croat Bob Bratina was elected as a mayor of Hamilton" (in Croatian). Nova TV. Kanadski Hrvat Robert Bob Bratina izabran je za gradonačelnika Hamiltona u pokrajini Ontariju, devetoga najvećeg grada u Kanadi s više od 700 tisuća stanovnika.("Canadian Croat Robert Bob Bratina was elected as a mayor of Hamilton in the province of Ontario, the ninth largest city in Canada with more than 700 000 inhabitants.") 
  8. ^ Sarjanović, Đurđica (2010-10-27). "Canadian Croat won the election in Hamilton" (in Croatian). 24sata. Kanadski Hrvat pobijedio na izborima u Hamiltonu 
  9. ^ "Official Web site: Bob Bratina". Archived from the original on November 22, 2005. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  10. ^ "CHML Biography: Bob Bratina". Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  11. ^ Bob Bratina: Issues and Priorities. Archived on Mar 27, 2009
  12. ^ Nichole MacIntyre, The Pencil is mightier than ... Hall Marks, April 13, 2007
  13. ^ Dreschel, Andrew. "Bratina officially joins race for mayor," The Hamilton Spectator, September 3, 2010, Opinion.
  14. ^ City of Hamilton, "Election Results, 2010."
  15. ^ Emma Reilly, Mayor's chief of staff gets 33 per cent pay hike, The Hamilton Spectator, December 7, 2011
  16. ^ Andrew Dreschel, DRESCHEL: Bob Bratina seems to inhabit alternate political reality, The Hamilton Spectator, March 21, 2012
  17. ^ Emma Reilly, "Integrity commissioner raps Bratina over ‘Peggygate’," Hamilton Spectator, June 8, 2012.
  18. ^ Samantha Craggs, Hamilton mayor bullied city manager, councillor claims, CBC Hamilton, April 24, 2013]
  19. ^ Andrew Dreschel, "Integrity commissioner cleared Bratina," Hamilton Spectator, November 12, 2013.
  20. ^ Samantha Craggs, "Hamilton's integrity commissioner may investigate Bratina LRT incident," CBC Hamilton, May 3, 2013.
  21. ^ Emma Reilly, "McGuinty’s keen to get GOing on all-day service for city," Hamilton Spectator, September 9, 2011.
  22. ^ Mayor’s comment on LRT takes wrong turn, The Hamilton Spectator, April 18, 2013
  23. ^ Andrew Dreschel, "Bratina won’t seek mayoral reelection," Hamilton Spectator, March 14, 2014.
  24. ^ Andrew Dreschel, "Bratina takes steps to run federally," Hamilton Spectator, August 20, 2015.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, 30 September 2015
  27. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates