Michelle Holland

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Michelle Holland
Toronto City Councillor for (Ward 35) Scarborough Southwest
In office
December 1, 2010 – December 1, 2018
Preceded byAdrian Heaps
Succeeded byGary Crawford (Ward 20)
Personal details
Born1973 (age 44–45)
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada

Michelle Holland (About this soundlisten) (born 1973), formerly known as Michelle Berardinetti, is a Canadian politician, who was elected to Toronto City Council in the 2010 city council election, defeating Adrian Heaps in Ward 35.[1]


Holland grew up in Chatham, Ontario. She started working as a student in the offices of Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray in Windsor. She also worked for MPPs Sandra Pupatello and Dave Levac. She spent some time working as a consultant before entering politics herself.[2] She then moved to Toronto to pursue her studies in International Relations at the University of Toronto.

She is married to former Liberal Member of Provincial Parliament and city councillor (Ward 37) Lorenzo Berardinetti. They were married on October 7, 2004.[3] Known by the surname Berardinetti for much of her political career, she reverted to using her maiden surname in 2016.[4]


In 2006, she ran for city councillor in the riding of Scarborough Southwest. She ran on a campaign of making sure that Scarborough got its "fair share" of tax dollars. She said, "A lot of our property tax dollars are being spent downtown and not here." She declared, "a road downtown will get paved two or three times before one is paved out here." City officials pointed out that this was not true, that road maintenance was based on need not location. In 2005, Scarborough accounted for 24% of the road repair budget which was commensurate with its population.[5] She narrowly lost by 89 votes.

On November 11, 2006, two days before the election The Globe and Mail published an article by columnist John Barber that endorsed Heaps while belittling Holland. Barber characterized her as the "wife of local MPP Lorenzo Berardinetti and so-called 'political adviser' (read: pillow talker). Scarborough deserves better than nepotism."[6] Holland complained to the Ontario Press Council, saying the article made "serious, damaging" statements about her. The press council agreed that the article was unfair.[7] In December The Globe and Mail published a correction stating that Holland was "unfairly demeaned" and that she in fact had more than 10 years experience working in government.[8]

In early 2007, she sued Heaps for defamation. She claimed that he defamed her by reprinting the article claiming that he was the favourite and that Holland was not qualified for the job.[9] Heaps and Holland eventually settled out of court with Heaps issuing an apology and paying for legal expenses.[10]

In the 2010 election, Holland ran again for the ward against Heaps. One of the major issues was bike lanes in the ward. Holland claimed that unconnected bike lanes on Pharmacy Avenue and Birchmount Road were leading some residents who lived on those streets to move out of the ward. Holland, who described them as "bike lanes to nowhere", said that she would replace them with sharrows.[11][12] This time she won the election by 2,203 votes.

Holland also has the second worst attendance record in Toronto city council, after Giorgio Mammoliti.

Holland lost to fellow incumbent Gary Crawford in Ward 20 during the 2018 Toronto municipal election.

Election results[edit]

2010 Toronto election, Ward 35[13]
Candidate Votes %
Michelle Berardinetti 8,293 50.4
Adrian Heaps 6,020 36.6
Malik Ahmad 850 5.2
Victoria Doyle 429 2.6
Ed Green 253 1.6
John Lewis 183 1.1
Jay Burnett 173 1.1
Peter Tijiri 90 0.6
John Morawietz 76 0.5
Jason Woychesko 70 0.4
Total 16,437 100%
2006 Toronto election, Ward 35[14]
Candidate Votes %
Adrian Heaps 2,949 23.8
Michelle Berardinetti 2,860 23.1
Dan Harris 1,853 14.9
Elizabeth Moyer 1,371 11.1
Mike Kilpatrick 1,098 8.9
Worrick Russell 786 6.3
Sharif Ahmed 669 5.4
Norman Lovatsis 436 3.5
Jason Carey 113 0.9
Armando Calderon 94 0.8
Michael Brausewetter 89 0.7
Tony Festino 52 0.4
Axcel Cocon 30 0.2
Total 12,400 100%


  1. ^ "Changed council faces new mayor". Toronto Star, October 25, 2010.
  2. ^ Marianne Takacs. Passions for public transit and the arts; Longtime Liberal elected to Ward 35 wants to bring collegiality, not partisanship, to the new city council. Toronto Star. November 27, 2010. pg. GT2.
  3. ^ "‘Liberal gladiators’ help Berardinetti to re-election". Toronto Observer, October 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Scarborough Southwest Councillor now to be known as Michelle Holland for city business". Scarborough Mirror, February 23, 2016.
  5. ^ Jennifer Lewington. Fresh faces abound in wild, wild east: Four wards have no incumbent running. Globe and Mail. November 10, 2006. pg A14.
  6. ^ John Barber. Wise Council: In these wards, the choice is clear. The Globe and Mail. November 11, 2006. pp M1, M4.
  7. ^ Press Council upholds complaint. The Globe and Mail. March 16, 2007. pg. A11.
  8. ^ John Barber. A skeptic might ask, How green is their valley?. Globe and Mail. December 6, 2006. pg. A14.
  9. ^ Vanessa Lu and Paul Moloney. City pays councillor's legal bill; $60,000 boost will help Adrian Heaps over lawsuit when he was a private citizen running for office. Toronto Star. December 12, 2009. pg GT4.
  10. ^ Councillor refuses legal-fee reimbursement, Globe and Mail, January 26, 2010, pg A11.
  11. ^ Don Peat, Bike lanes irk councillor, Toronto Sun, November 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Kristofer Baker. Ward 35 candidates spar over unconnected bike lanes, The Toronto Observer. September 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "Ward 35: Scarborough Southwest". City of Toronto. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-04-06.
  14. ^ "Councillor: 2006 Poll by Poll Results" (PDF). City of Toronto. pp. 79–80. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-04-06.

External links[edit]