Rick Chiarelli

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Richard "Rick" Chiarelli is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is an Ottawa City Councillor, and the second cousin of former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli. He represents the College Ward covering part of Nepean and Ottawa's west end.

Early years[edit]

At age 16, while attending St. Pius X high school in Ottawa, Rick Chiarelli formed the Ontario Students Alliance for Fair Funding (OSAFF) to fight for the equality that was promised in the Canadian Constitution. At this time, Ontario’s separate schools were funded only to grade 10. Beyond this, a high school student was required to pay substantial tuition fees.

Chiarelli began to speak at hundreds of schools and the OSAFF quickly grew to over 70,000 members across Ontario.

OSAFF launched a legal challenge against the Government of Ontario’s treatment of separate schools and convinced Ian Scott, a prominent Canadian lawyer, to represent them in court. The action was timed to coincide with the visit to the Premier by Pope John Paul II. The court imposed deadlines on the Province to file its full defence to the action. As a result, Premier Bill Davis announced a change in the Province’s century old policy and granted full funding to separate schools. The case was unanimously won by OSAFF 9-0 at the Supreme Court of Canada.

During OSAFF’s legal challenge, Chiarelli ran for school trustee of the school board and won. This resulted in Chiarelli becoming the youngest ever elected.[1]

City Council[edit]

He was first elected to office at age 19 when he won a seat on the Carleton Separate School Board in 1980s. At the time, he was the youngest elected official in the province. He ran for a seat on the council of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton in 1985, but lost.

In 1988, he was elected to the Nepean City Council for the Borden ward. He was re-elected to Nepean council in 1994 in the newly created Nepean Centre Ward.

The 2000 municipal election was the first for the newly amalgamated City of Ottawa. Chiarelli, who had been a leading opponent of amalgamation, faced long-time Councillor Al Loney in what was thought would be one of the tightest election battles of the year. Chiarelli prevailed in a landslide and became Councillor for Baseline Ward. In 2003 Chiarelli was re-elected by acclamation. In 2006, after ward boundary changes, Chiarelli faced a challenge from cycling activist Brett Delmage in the election for Councillor of College Ward. Chiarelli won by a wide majority, securing 73% of the votes.

Rick Chiarelli is a second cousin of former Mayor Bob Chiarelli with whom he often disagreed on matters of policy. They are both members of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Election results[edit]

Ottawa municipal election, 2014
College Ward
Council candidate Vote  %
  Rick Chiarelli (X) 9,601 70.39
  Guy Annable 2,084 15.28
  Craig MacAulay 1,065 7.81
  Scott Andrew McLarens 889 6.52
Ottawa municipal election, 2010
College Ward
Candidate Vote  %
Rick Chiarelli (X) 10531 65
Ralph Anderson 513 3
John Campbell 423 2
Catherine Gardner 606 3
Lynn Hamilton 2367 14
Craig MacAulay 239 1
William McKinnon 249 1
Julia Ringma 1139 7
Ottawa municipal election, 2006
College Ward (Ward 8)
Candidate Votes  %
Rick Chiarelli 13,761 72.59%
Brett Delmage 3,765 19.86%
Laura Lee Doupe 1,432 7.55%
Ottawa municipal election, 2003
Baseline Ward (Ward 8)
Candidate Votes  %
Rick Chiarelli ACCLAIMED
Ottawa municipal election, 2000
Baseline Ward (Ward 8)
Candidate Votes  %
Rick Chiarelli 5,738 59.67
Al Loney 3,879 40.33
Ontario general election, 1999: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
Progressive Conservative Garry Guzzo 22,834 47.79 $ 52,524.00
Liberal Rick Chiarelli 16,419 34.36 69,057.01
New Democratic Alex Cullen 7,701 16.12 32,467.74
Green Richard Warman 453 0.95 0.00
Independent Megan Hnatiw 129 0.27 0.00
Independent John Turmel 94 0.20 0.00
Confederation of Regions Anthony C. Silvestro 79 0.17 806.00
Natural Law Lester J. Newby 70 0.15 0.00
Total valid votes/Expense limit 47,779 100.0   $ 78,526.08
Total rejected ballots 393 0.82
Turnout 48,172 58.89
Eligible voters 81,798


  1. ^ "Councillor Rick Chiarelli". City of Ottawa. 2002-02-18. Archived from the original on 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brian Mackey
(Carleton Ward)
City councillors from Baseline Ward
Succeeded by
Ward abolished
Preceded by
Ward created
City councillors from College Ward
Succeeded by