Joseph Cordiano

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Joseph Cordiano
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded by Riding established
Succeeded by Paul Ferreira
Constituency York South—Weston
In office
Preceded by riding established
Succeeded by riding abolished
Constituency Lawrence
In office
Preceded by Odoardo Di Santo
Succeeded by Laureano Leone
Constituency Downsview
Personal details
Born (1957-10-30) October 30, 1957 (age 59)
Toronto, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Occupation Business owner

Joseph Cordiano (born October 30, 1957) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1985 to 2006 and he was a cabinet minister in the government of Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.


Cordiano was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Italian immigrants. He was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo in Ohio, graduating from the latter with a Master's Degree in Business Administration. He was the owner and General Manager of Cash Rolls of Canada.


Cordiano was elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1985, defeating incumbent New Democrat Odoardo Di Santo by 221 votes in the Toronto riding of Downsview.[1] He was re-elected by a greater margin in the redistributed riding of Lawrence in the provincial election of 1987.[2] He served as Parliamentary Assistant to several ministers.

The Liberals were upset by the NDP in the provincial election of 1990 and Cordiano faced a difficult challenge from NDP candidate Shalom Schachter, winning by 11,786 votes to 10,179.[3] He subsequently emerged as a prominent voice for the provincial Liberal Party within Toronto. The provincial election of 1995 saw Cordiano win his riding by a comfortable margin — the provincial swing was to the Progressive Conservative Party, but the PCs did not have enough support in Lawrence to seriously compete for the riding.[4]

When Lyn McLeod resigned as Liberal leader in 1996, Cordiano announced his candidacy to succeed her. At first, many saw him as the leading challenger to frontrunner Gerard Kennedy, who was regarded as representing the left-wing of the party. Cordiano, in turn, was seen by many as representing the party's establishment, while holding some right-wing leanings.

The leadership convention was held in November 1996. Cordiano finished second to Kennedy on the first ballot, but was unable to build upon his position in later counts. Dalton McGuinty tied him for second place on the third ballot, and overtook him on the fourth. Cordiano supported McGuinty on the fifth ballot, and was thereby largely responsible for McGuinty's victory over Kennedy for the party's leadership. Cordiano was subsequently named as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and held this position until 1998. His replacement by Gerry Phillips as Deputy Leader angered some in the province's Italian community.

Cordiano and Kennedy were again rivals in the provincial election of 1999, this time for the Liberal nomination in the redistributed riding of York South—Weston. Kennedy was convinced by the party leadership to run elsewhere, and Cordiano won an easy victory in the election which followed.[5] The Progressive Conservatives were re-elected in the general election, however, and Cordiano remained on the opposition benches. In 2000, he was appointed opposition critic for financial institutions.

The Liberals won the provincial election of 2003, and Cordiano won another easy victory in York South—Weston.[6] On October 23, 2003, Cordiano was named Minister for Economic Development and Trade.[7]

Cordiano was the architect behind the Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy that saw the province leverage over $7 billion in new automotive investment into the province. Under his term as Minister, Ontario replaced Michigan as the largest auto-producing jurisdiction in North America.[8] He was also responsible for the securing a new Toyota assembly plant in Woodstock, Ontario. This was Ontario's first new assembly plant in over 20 years. Jurisdictions across the United States were in competition for this highly sought after investment that created 1,300 direct jobs and thousands more in related sectors.[9][10]

Cordiano resigned from the cabinet and the legislature on September 18, 2006 citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Cabinet posts[edit]

Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Bob Runciman Minister for Economic Development and Trade
Sandra Pupatello

Electoral Record[edit]

Ontario general election, 2003: York South—Weston
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Joseph Cordiano 19,932 61.56 +8.17
New Democratic Brian Donlevy 6,247 19.29 -0.80
Progressive Conservative Stephen Halicki 4,930 15.23 -6.68
Green Enrique Palad 794 2.45 +2.02
Family Coalition Mariangela Sanabria 475 1.47 -0.12
Total valid votes 32,378 100.0
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 540 1.56
Turnout 32,747 50.70
Eligible voters 64,589
Liberal hold Swing +4.48
Ontario general election, 1999: York South—Weston
Party Candidate Votes %
Liberal Joseph Cordiano 18,205 53.39
Progressive Conservative Alan Hofmeister 7,471 21.91
New Democratic Rosana Pellizzari 6,850 20.09
Family Coalition Enzo Granzotto 542 1.59
Independent David Gershuny 486 1.43
Communist Hassan Husseini 261 0.77
Green Alma Subasic 147 0.43
Natural Law Erica Kindl 139 0.41
Total valid votes 34,101 100.0
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 540 1.56
Turnout 34,641 58.23
Eligible voters 59,490

Later life[edit]

After leaving politics, he went on to become President of Dominus Construction Group and Principal of Cityzen Development Group. He has continued to remain engaged in public life as a board member of West Park Healthcentre.[11] He currently sits as an advisory board member of the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto. Cordiano is also a member of the Board of Advisors of MobileBits.


  1. ^ "The Ontario Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. February 9, 1985. p. 4. 
  2. ^ "Results from individual ridings". The Windsor Star. September 11, 1987. p. F2. 
  3. ^ "Ontario election: Riding-by-riding voting results". The Globe and Mail. September 7, 1990. p. A12. 
  4. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  7. ^ "Premier Dalton McGuinty and his 22-member cabinet were sworn in Thursday". Canadian Press NewsWire. October 23, 2003. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Keenan, Greg (September 19, 2006). "Cordiano leaves Ontario a lasting auto legacy". The Globe and Mail. p. B5. 
  9. ^ Van Alphen, Tony (July 1, 2005). "Winning the Toyota deal". Toronto Star. p. F1. 
  10. ^ Brennan, Richard; Van Alphen, Tony (July 1, 2005). "Thank you for choosing Ontario". The Toronto Star. p. F1. 
  11. ^ "West Park Healthcare Centre Annual Report 2011-2012". 2012. 

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