Rick Bartolucci

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Rick Bartolucci
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded bySharon Murdock
Succeeded byJoe Cimino
Personal details
Born (1943-10-10) October 10, 1943 (age 76)
Sudbury, Ontario
Political partyLiberal
Alma materLaurentian University
North Bay Teacher's College

Rick Bartolucci (born October 10, 1943) is a former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 2014. He represented the riding of Sudbury and was a cabinet minister in the government of Dalton McGuinty.


Bartolucci was born in Sudbury, has degrees from Laurentian University and the North Bay Teacher's College, and worked as a teacher and school principal for thirty years before becoming an MPP.[1]



He was a Sudbury alderman and regional councillor from 1979 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1991, and served as the city's deputy mayor for a time.[1]


Bartolucci was elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1995 provincial election, defeating New Democratic Party incumbent Sharon Murdock.[2] The Progressive Conservative Party of Mike Harris won a majority government in this election, and Bartolucci entered the legislature as a member of the Official Opposition. He was appointed as his party's critic for Northern Development and Culture and Communications. In December 1995, he helped organize a meeting at Queen's Park where artists and cultural workers criticized the Harris government's cuts to the arts sector.[3] He later criticized the Harris government's decision to close two of Sudbury's three hospitals, arguing that it would compromise patient care.[4]

Bartolucci was one of the three MPPs prevented from attending the Harris government's first Speech from the Throne in September 1995, when police officers contracted by the government to guard against protesters refused them entry into the legislature. The other MPPs were veteran opposition member Sean Conway and cabinet minister Cam Jackson. Many opposition legislators and journalists later described the police presence as excessive.[5] A similar incident took place in March 1996, when riot police contracted by the Harris government burst into Bartolucci's legislative office without any warning or explanation, just before a melee with protesting public service workers. The police actions were widely criticized on this occasion as well.[6]

Bartolucci was a co-manager of Dwight Duncan's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996,[7] and moved to the camp of Gerard Kennedy when Duncan was eliminated on the third ballot of the party's leadership convention.[8] Kennedy was defeated on the final ballot by Dalton McGuinty.

Bartolucci introduced a Private Member's Bill in early 1997 to limit class sizes in Ontario's public and separate schools.[9] The government dropped this bill from the legislative agenda in January 1998.[10] He later introduced a bill giving police the power to apprehend any person under eighteen who was involved in prostitution, and take that person to a safe house.[11] The government introduced legislation modeled on Bartolucci's proposal in 2000,[12] and passed it into law in June 2002. Fourteen months later, Bartolucci complained that the law had not yet been enacted.[13]

Bartolucci was re-elected by an increased margin in the 1999 provincial election, as the Progressive Conservatives won a second majority government.[14] He was appointed to the Liberal Party's election committee after the campaign,[15] and later served as Chief Opposition Whip.[16] In 2000, he criticized the provincial government for requiring that cancer patients in Northern Ontario pay most of their transportation costs to and from treatment in other areas, while patients referred from Toronto to Sudbury were provided with free transportation and lodging.[17] Bartolucci indicated that he was exploring the possibility of a class-action lawsuit on the matter.[18]

Bartolucci made frequent calls for Highway 69 to be widened between Sudbury and Parry Sound, citing a growing number of fatal accidents in the area.[19][20] He also chaired the JoeMac committee, which undertook a national campaign to have the killers of Sudbury police officer Joe MacDonald moved to a maximum security prison. The group also opposed what it described as lenient treatment for federal offenders.[21][22]

Cabinet minister[edit]

Minister of Northern Development and Mines[edit]

Bartolucci was re-elected in 2003 as the Liberals won a majority government across the province.[23] Bartolucci was endorsed by the Sudbury Police Association in the 2003 provincial election.[24] On October 23, 2003, he was appointed as Minister of Northern Development and Mines in the newly formed government of Dalton McGuinty.[25]

In early 2004, Bartolucci re-designated the Muskoka District as a part of southern rather than northern Ontario. The area had been a part of southern Ontario before 2000, when the Harris government chose to include it as part of the north. Bartolucci had criticized this decision at the time, arguing that it would allow wealthy cottage communities to access funds earmarked for northern development.[26][27] Bartolucci declined to intervene when Inco announced the closure of its Copper Cliff copper refinery in May 2005, saying that he would not compel a company to keep open a financially troubled entity. The United Steelworkers of America protested this decision.[28][29]

Bartolucci announced in March 2004 that he would end the previous government's efforts to privatize the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.[30] He also called for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to re-focus its attention on job creation, with support from the private sector.[31] The North Bay Chamber of Commerce and the union representing Ontario Northland Transportation Commission workers demanded the resignation or retirement of Bartolucci, claiming a negative impact on the economy of northern Ontario.[32]

In June 2005, Bartolucci announced a twelve-year project for the expansion of Highway 69.[33] In March 2006 he brought forward a new provincial mining strategy.[34] The journal Mineweb called the plan a way to promote long-term sustainability and global competitiveness.[35]

Bartolucci presided over the opening of Ontario's first diamond mine in June 2006, and spoke of "limitless" potential for growth in the field.[36] The McGuinty government later proposed a new tax on diamond mining. After criticism by groups such as DeBeers Canada, Bartolucci modified the tax to include deductions for new mining construction, and for expenditures made through agreements with aboriginal communities.[37]

Bartolucci criticized the federal government of Stephen Harper in April 2006, arguing that its proposed settlement of a softwood lumber dispute with the United States would amount to "selling out Ontario".[38]

In August 2006, Justice Patrick Smith of the Ontario Superior Court issued a ruling against the mining exploration company Platinex Inc. in its ongoing battle with the remote Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug aboriginal community. Platinex was ordered not to work at the site for five months, and was ordered to participate in a consultation process involving the province. Bartolucci argued that this decision would not "impact the legitimacy of other mining claims in Ontario". Others disputed his interpretation.[39]

In mid-2007, the Ardoch Algonquin and Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations began a protest against proposed uranium mining in the Sharbot Lake area. The protesters, who were supported by several members of the local non-aboriginal community, noted that they had not been consulted by the province before the company Frontenac Ventures began prospecting in the area. A spokesperson for Bartolucci's office confirmed that the province had a legal obligation to consult with First Nations communities before allowing exploration, and said that the province was attempting to "establish better processes" in dealing with such matters.[40]

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services[edit]

Bartolucci was re-elected in the 2007 provincial election, in which the McGuinty government was re-elected with a second majority.[41] On October 30, 2007, he was appointed as Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services.[42]

Bartolucci amended the province's sex offender registry in December 2007, after the provincial Auditor General reported that prisoners released from federal institutions had been omitted from the list.[43]

Bartolucci introduced new animal protection legislation in April 2008 and the province's new Animal Welfare Act was officially proclaimed in March 2009.[44] The law requires that veterinarians report suspected cases of animal abuse, gives legal protection for veterinarians who make good faith reports, and increases penalties for animal abuse.[45]

Bartolucci rejected calls for a moratorium on taser use in June 2008, when an Ontario resident died after being tasered in a confrontation with police. Amnesty International was among the groups calling for a moratorium on taser use.[46] In 2009, he rejected a request that Ontario ban taser use on minors.[47]

Bartolucci and Attorney General Chris Bentley appealed to the federal government to introduce stricter gun control legislation in March 2008, including a ban on handguns. They also criticized the federal government for extending an amnesty to gun owners who refuse to register their firearms.[48] In April 2009, Bartolucci requested that the federal government reconsider its plans to weaken the provisions of the Canadian Firearms Registry.[49]

Bartolucci announced in October 2008 that the McGuinty government would overhaul Ontario's forensic pathology system and provide compensation for past miscarriages of justice, after receiving a report from Justice Stephen Goudge.[50] This report confirmed previous media revelations that several people had been wrongly convicted of serious crimes due to errors made by discredited pathologist Charles Randal Smith. Bartolucci personally apologized on behalf of the government to those who suffered as a result of these errors and later announced that the McGuinty government would adopt all of the Goudge Report's recommendations into law.[51] Among other things, the report called for the creation of an oversight council to monitor Ontario's chief coroner and chief forensic pathologist, the creation of a public complaints committee, and a provincial registry of pathologists.[52]

Bartolucci rejected calls for a provincial inquiry into a native land dispute at Caledonia. He argued that this dispute was a federal issue.[53]

In October 2009, Bartolucci faced some criticism from his constituents for avoiding a vote on Peter Kormos' private member's bill to ban the use of replacement workers during a strike. With Vale Inco workers in Sudbury on strike, Bartolucci chose to remain neutral on the legislation in the hope that his position would encourage the company and the striking workers to return to the bargaining table.[54]

He announced on February 7, 2013, that he would not run for re-election in the 41st Ontario general election.[55]

Cabinet positions[edit]

Ontario Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet posts (4)
Predecessor Office Successor
Michael Gravelle Minister of Northern Development and Mines
Michael Gravelle
Jim Bradley Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Kathleen Wynne
Monte Kwinter Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Jim Bradley
Jim Wilson Minister of Northern Development and Mines
Michael Gravelle

Electoral record[edit]

2011 Ontario general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rick Bartolucci 13,752 42.26% -16.51
New Democratic Paul Loewenberg 13,251 40.72% +13.59
Progressive Conservative Gerry Labelle 4,409 13.55% +5.62
Green Pat Rogerson 925 2.84% -2.05
Total valid votes 32,544 100.00
2007 Ontario general election: Sudbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Rick Bartolucci 19,307 58.77 −10.21 $ 65,502.20
New Democratic Dave Battaino 8,914 27.13 +13.13 38,488.63
Progressive Conservative Louis Delongchamp 2,605 7.93 −6.26 12,594.00
Green David Sylvestre 1,608 4.89 +2.07 1,520.11
Family Coalition Carita Murphy-Marketos 293 0.89   3,118.15
Independent David Popescu 124 0.38   17.90
Total valid votes / Expense limit 32,851 100.0   −8.00 $ 69,838.20
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 201 0.61 −0.15
Turnout 33,052 51.11 −4.84
Electors on the lists 64,665   +0.56
Liberal hold Swing −11.67
Note: Percentage changes are factored for redistribution.
"General Election Poll by Poll Results – Electoral District 088 Sudbury" (PDF). Elections Ontario.
"2007 Annual Returns, Candidate and Constituency Associations". Retrieved June 13, 2014.
2003 Ontario general election: Sudbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Rick Bartolucci 24,631 68.98 +10.27 $ 58,280.81
Progressive Conservative Mila Wong 5,068 14.19 −15.39 34,319.74
New Democratic Harvey Wyers 4,999 14.00 +3.49 16,359.88
Green Luke Norton 1,009 2.83   508.44
Total valid votes / Expense limit 35,707 100.00 −3.54 $ 61,731.84
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 274 0.76 +0.10
Turnout 35,981 55.95 +0.26
Eligible voters 64,304   −3.89
Liberal hold Swing +12.83
1999 Ontario general election: Sudbury
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Rick Bartolucci 21,732 58.71 +18.05 $ 52,531.80
Progressive Conservative Mila Wong 10,948 29.58 +2.93 61,776.00
New Democratic Paul Chislett 3,891 10.51 −18.12 Not Available
Natural Law Bernard Fram 184 0.50 −0.54 0.00
Independent Ed Pokonzie 159 0.43 +0.02 Not Available
Independent David Popescu 103 0.28   123.60
Total valid votes / Expense Limit 37,017 100.0   +21.87 $ 64,227.84
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 245 0.66 −0.66
Turnout 37,262 55.69 −6.41
Electors on the lists 66,904   +34.99
Note: Percentage change figures are not factored for redistribution.
1995 Ontario general election: Sudbury
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Liberal Rick Bartolucci 12,349 40.66 $ 38,419.00
New Democratic Sharon Murdock 8,698 28.64 45,265.43
Progressive Conservative Richard Zanibbi 8,093 26.64 43,588.00
Independent Don Scott 506 1.67 459.00
Natural Law David Gordon 315 1.04 0.00
Green Lewis Poulin 290 0.95 69.68
Independent Ed Pokonzie 123 0.40 0.00
Total valid votes / Expense limit 30,374 100.00 $ 46,140.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 405 1.32
Turnout 30,779 62.10
Eligible voters 49,562

All provincial electoral information is taken from Elections Ontario. The expenditure entries for all elections after 1995 are taken from official candidate reports as listed by Elections Ontario. The figures cited are the Total Candidate's Campaign Expenses Subject to Limitation, and include transfers from constituency associations.


  1. ^ a b Colbourn, Glen (June 8, 1995). "Swing ridings can be crucial in today's vote". Hamilton Spectator. p. A15.
  2. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on March 5, 2014.
  3. ^ Goddard, Peter (December 5, 1995). "Who's Who in arts rally against cuts". Toronto Star. p. E4.
  4. ^ "News of hospital merger raises health-care concerns". Globe and Mail. October 1, 1996. p. A9.
  5. ^ Crone, Greg (September 29, 1995). "Members chafe under beefed-up security". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. A3.
  6. ^ Crone, Greg (March 20, 1997). "Actions of police embarrassed Ontario, opposition MPPs say". Kitchener-Waterloo Record. p. D8.
  7. ^ Vander Doelen, Chris; Brennan, Richard (June 26, 1996). "City success Duncan's model". Windsor Star. p. A3.
  8. ^ Whitehouse, Mike (December 13, 2003). "Northern light: Rick Bartolucci has battled for Northern Ontario". Sudbury Star. p. B10.
  9. ^ Urquhart, Ian (February 6, 1997). "No reins -- or whips in House today". Toronto Star. p. A23.
  10. ^ Poling, Jim (January 12, 1998). "Agostino's bill a housekeeping casualty". Hamilton Spectator. p. A5.
  11. ^ Shephard, Michelle (February 12, 1999). "Prostitute, 14, `overdoses' on cocaine while in custody". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  12. ^ Mackie, Richard (December 19, 2000). "New Ontario law aims to rescue child prostitutes". Globe and Mail. p. A8.
  13. ^ "Ernie, tell the truth - why won't you protect our children?". Canada NewsWire. August 12, 2003.
  14. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999.
  15. ^ Draper, Doug (July 19, 1999). "McGuinty slam 'spineless' attack". Hamilton Spectator. p. A2.
  16. ^ "McGuinty announces caucus critic changes". Canada NewsWire. August 23, 2002.
  17. ^ Urquhart, Ian (June 7, 2000). "Tories no longer government fixers". Toronto Star. p. A1.
  18. ^ Priest, Lisa (June 17, 2000). "Northern Ontario cancer patients face 'discrimination'". Globe and Mail. p. A3.
  19. ^ "Cottage highway accidents kill six". Globe and Mail. June 4, 2001. p. A7.
  20. ^ Conroy, Pat (August 9, 2002). "Triple fatality renews protests ... Demands for Highway 69 widening ignored". Toronto Star. p. A4.
  21. ^ "Local campaign goes national". Canadian Press. March 18, 2002.
  22. ^ Humphreys, Adrian (March 8, 2003). "Prison knew alarms faulty years before escape: report". National Post. p. A7.
  23. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. October 2, 2003.
  24. ^ O'Flanagan, Rob (October 1, 2003). "Cops' union backs Bartolucci". Sudbury Star. p. A3.
  25. ^ "Premier Dalton McGuinty and his 22-member cabinet were sworn in Thursday". Canadian Press NewsWire. October 23, 2003. p. 1.
  26. ^ Bourette, Susan (May 15, 2000). "Why Northern Ontario is creeping southward: Eves's Muskoka riding gets Heritage Fund access". Globe and Mail. p. A1.
  27. ^ Mackie, Richard (May 27, 2004). "Muskoka moves to Southern Ontario". Globe and Mail. p. A11.
  28. ^ "Inco vows to close Sudbury, Ont., copper refinery despite plea from mayor". Canadian Press. May 27, 2005.
  29. ^ Barry, Sean (June 7, 2005). "Union takes fight over Copper Cliff to mines minister". Metal Bulletin News Alert Service.
  30. ^ "Ontario government charts `bold new course' for Ontario Northland: Bartolucci". Canadian Press. March 4, 2004.
  31. ^ "Minister defends Heritage Fund". Globe and Mail. December 23, 2003. p. A9.
  32. ^ "More calls for northern minister to step down". CBC.ca. August 8, 2012.
  33. ^ Larmour, Adelle (June 1, 2005). "Minister, MPPs square off over 69". Northern Ontario Business. p. 24.
  34. ^ "Mining red tape to be eased Conservatives vow to help industry". Winnipeg Free Press. March 7, 2006. p. B6.
  35. ^ "Ontario unveils new mineral strategy". Mineweb. March 8, 2006.
  36. ^ Pacienza, Angela (June 20, 2006). "Ontario opens first diamond mine". Globe and Mail. p. B7.
  37. ^ "Ontario changes controversial diamond-mining tax". Reuters News. July 5, 2007.
  38. ^ Howlett, Karen (April 27, 2006). "Reduction in quotas comes as surprise to Ontario". Globe and Mail. p. A14.
  39. ^ Harries, Kate (August 1, 2006). "Judge rules for native band". Globe and Mail. p. A9.
  40. ^ Ma, Suzanne (July 30, 2007). "Uranium drilling fight gets hot". Ottawa Citizen. p. D1.
  41. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 10, 2007. p. 15 (xxiv). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009.
  42. ^ Ferguson, Rob; Benzie, Robert (October 31, 2007). "Premier goes for new blood; Expanded 28-member cabinet has eight ministers from Toronto, three from 905 area". Toronto Star. p. A13.
  43. ^ Benzie, Robert (December 12, 2007). "Hundreds not included on registry, auditor says". Toronto Star. p. A19.
  44. ^ Wilkes, Jim (April 4, 2008). "Act would put bite on animal abusers". Hamilton Spectator. p. A10.
  45. ^ "Ontario Veterinarians Applaud Province for Enacting Canada's Toughest Animal Welfare Legislation". Canada NewsWire. March 2, 2009.
  46. ^ "'We don't know enough,' Amnesty says after Ontario custody death". Toronto Star. June 25, 2008. p. A22.
  47. ^ Oliveira, Michael (February 4, 2009). "Ontario government rejects call for banning Taser use on minors". Canadian Press.
  48. ^ MacCharles, Tonda (March 4, 2008). "Ontario protests federal gun amnesty plan". Toronto Star. p. A14.
  49. ^ "Reconsider gun-registry changes, Ontario Grits urge federal Tories". Ottawa Citizen. April 22, 2009. p. A6.
  50. ^ "Ontario Responds To The Goudge Report". Canada NewsWire. October 1, 2008.
  51. ^ Boyle, Theresa; Tyler, Tracey (October 2, 2008). "Another 200 cases to be probed". Toronto Star. p. A6.
  52. ^ Ferguson, Rob (October 24, 2008). "Bill maps out pathology overhaul". Toronto Star. p. A22.
  53. ^ Greenberg, Lee (February 19, 2009). "McGuinty pans bill calling for Caledonia dispute inquiry". Ottawa Citizen. p. A6.
  54. ^ Mulligan, Carol (October 3, 2009). "Bartolucci remains neutral". Sudbury Star.
  55. ^ "Bartolucci retires from cabinet; stays on as MPP". Sudbury Star. February 7, 2013.

External links[edit]