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Bob Chiarelli

The Honourable
Bob Chiarelli
Ontario MPP
Assumed office
Preceded by Jim Watson
Constituency Ottawa West—Nepean
In office
Preceded by Reuben Baetz
Succeeded by Alex Cullen
Constituency Ottawa West
57th Mayor of Ottawa
1st Mayor post-amalgamation
In office
Preceded by Allan Higdon (interim)
Succeeded by Larry O'Brien
Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton
In office
Preceded by Peter Clark
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born (1941-09-24) September 24, 1941
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Carol Barbara Chiarelli (deceased)
Profession Lawyer

Robert "Bob" Chiarelli (born September 24, 1941) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is a Liberal member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who served from 1987 to 1997, and then was subsequently re-elected to the legislature in 2010. He was the Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton from 1997 to 2001 and was mayor of Ottawa from 1997 to 2006. He has served in the provincial cabinets of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.


  • Background 1
  • Politics 2
  • Municipal politics 3
    • 2006 election 3.1
  • Return to provincial politics 4
  • Provincial electoral record 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Chiarelli was raised in the Little Italy area of Ottawa near Preston Street. His parents were wealthy entrepreneurs owning a number of stores in the neighbourhood. He was the youngest of their seven children. He was an ice hockey player in high school and attended Clarkson University, New York, on a hockey scholarship. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and then returned to Ottawa to attend the University of Ottawa law school. He began his legal practice in 1969. He served for seven years on the National Capital Commission. His wife Carol died of cancer on December 27, 1996, leaving behind three children.


Chiarelli ran as a Liberal candidate in the 1987 provincial election in the riding of Ottawa West. He defeated Progressive Conservative candidate Derek Insley by about 6,000 votes.[1] He served as the parliamentary assistant to the Chair of the Management Board in 1987–88. Chiarelli was re-elected in the provincial elections of 1990 and 1995.[2][3][4] Chiarelli endorsed Dalton McGuinty's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996.[4]

He resigned his seat in 1997 in order to pursue a position in municipal politics.[5]

Municipal politics

In November 1997, Chiarelli contested the position of Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton. He defeated incumbent Peter Clark. Chiarelli's win was the only Ottawa municipal contest where an incumbent was upset.[6] For the next three years, he advocated eliminating the region's "two-tiered" government, and amalgamating the regional municipalities into a single city.[7] The provincial government of Mike Harris did this in 2000, and Chiarelli declared himself a candidate to become the first mayor of the amalgamated city of Ottawa.[8]

Chiarelli was elected as the first mayor of the newly amalgamated city of Ottawa on November 13, 2000 defeating former mayor of Gloucester, Ontario, Claudette Cain.[9] He was easily re-elected in the 2003 election beating his closest rival by nearly 40,000 votes.[10]

2006 election

A map showing the distribution of Chiarelli's vote in the 2006 election. His best areas were his home district around Carlingwood and the southern suburbs that were to have been serviced by his O-Train plan.

In the 2006 election, he ran for re-election against two main opponents: former Kanata councillor Alex Munter, and businessman Larry O'Brien. Terry Kilrea, runner-up to Chiarelli in 2003, campaigned through the summer but withdrew when it seemed left-wing candidate Alex Munter had taken the lead. Kilrea decided to support Chiarelli for the remainder of the campaign.

Chiarelli's main project was the expansion of the city's light-rail system: a north-south line would run from Barrhaven to downtown Ottawa starting in 2009. His opponents in the election alleged that the project had been undertaken without sufficient consultation or communication with the public. The project was cancelled shortly after his departure of City Hall.

Chiarelli also had plans to improve the east end of the city. He introduced a 10-point revitalization plan that would include attracting more jobs and businesses east of the Rideau River in order to improve its economic development. He also planned to build new roads to improve connections between Orleans and the south end of the city.[11] Also he promised to expand the existing bike trail system with additional trails connecting suburban and rural areas of Ottawa.

In a survey conducted by UniMarketing during the week of October 13, 2006, Chiarelli placed second with an 11-point percentage deficit on Munter but had a three-point advantage over O'Brien among the most likely to vote. In the election, he finished in third position with just over 15% of the vote and lost the mayoral position to O'Brien.

Return to provincial politics

In 2010, Chiarelli ran as the Liberal Party candidate in a by-election held in the riding of Ottawa West–Nepean to succeed Jim Watson who resigned to run for Mayor of Ottawa. He won the by-election, which was held on March 4.[12][13] Chiarelli was re-elected in the 2011 and 2014 elections.[14][15]

On August 18, 2010, Chiarelli was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Infrastructure.[16] Since February 11, 2013 Chiarelli has been Minister of Energy.[17]

Provincial electoral record

Ontario general election, 1987
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 16,343
Progressive Conservative Derek Insley 9,951
New Democratic Paul Weinzweig 4,403
Family Coalition Lynn McPherson 1,689
Ontario general election, 1990: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 13,908
Progressive Conservative Brian Mackey 9,068
New Democratic Allan Edwards 8,391
Confederation of Regions David Boyd 1,044
Family Coalition Ian Whyte 1,011
Ontario general election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal (x)Bob Chiarelli 14,516
Progressive Conservative Greg Joy 12,898
New Democratic Karim Ismaili 3,718
Green Stephen Johns 448
Independent Andy Sammon 241
Natural Law Stan Lamothe 96
Provincial by-election on March 4, 2010[18]
Resignation of Jim Watson
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 12,353 43.45% -7.1
Progressive Conservative Beth Graham 11,086 38.99% +7.3
New Democratic Pam Fitzgerald 2,404 8.45% -1.3
Green Mark Mackenzie 2,359 8.30% +2.0
Independent John Turmel 230 0.81% *
Ontario general election, 2011: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 18,492 41.62 −1.83 $ 93,241.85
Progressive Conservative Randall Denley 17,483 39.35 +0.36 80,950.00
New Democratic Wendy Byrne 6,576 14.80 +6.35 13,936.09
Green Alex Hill 1,485 3.34 −4.96 3,113.29
Family Coalition John Pacheco 396 0.89   8,382.66
Total valid votes / Expense limit 44,432 100.00 +56.27 $ 97,809.67
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 174 0.39 −0.18
Turnout 44,606 54.27 +21.33
Eligible voters 82,187   −5.32
Liberal hold Swing −1.10
Ontario general election, 2014: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 21,328 45.68 +4.06
Progressive Conservative Randall Denley 15,540 33.29 −6.06
New Democratic Alex Cullen 6,673 14.29 −0.51
Green Alex Hill 2,807 6.01 +2.67
Libertarian Matthew Brooks 338 0.72
Total valid votes 46,686 100.0  
Liberal hold Swing +5.06


  1. ^ "Results from individual ridings". The Windsor Star. September 11, 1987. p. F2. 
  2. ^ "Ontario election: Riding-by-riding voting results". The Globe and Mail. September 7, 1990. p. A12. 
  3. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  4. ^ a b Sherring, Susan (January 18, 2010). "Bob makes run for Queen's Park". Ottawa Sun. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ Eade, Ron (April 3, 1997). "Chiarelli will seek regional chair: Incumbent Clark files papers to seek third term". The Ottawa Citizen. p. B1. 
  6. ^ Delacourt, Susan; Coutts, Jane (November 11, 1997). "Veterans picked to face unknown: Ontario voters have largely chosen ...". The Globe and Mail. p. A12. 
  7. ^ "Lansdowne deal looks promising". The Ottawa Citizen. April 27, 1999. p. F4. 
  8. ^ Gray, Ken (February 10, 2000). "Foreign Affairs has its eye on Ottawa City Hall: Chiarelli". The Ottawa Citizen. p. F3. 
  9. ^ "Chiarelli wins historic race to lead amalgamated City of Ottawa". Canadian Press NewsWire. November 13, 2000. 
  10. ^ "Final election results". The Ottawa Citizen. November 12, 2003. p. B7. 
  11. ^ "Chiarelli reveals 10-point plan". Ottawa Citizen. October 19, 2006. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  12. ^ Howlett, Karen (March 4, 2010). "McGuinty Liberals win narrow victory in Ottawa by-election". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  13. ^ Macleod, Ian (February 1, 2010). "Liberals acclaim Bob Chiarelli in Ottawa-West Nepean race". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 13. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  15. ^ "General Election by District: Ottawa West-Nepean". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ Aveling, Nick (August 18, 2010). "McGuinty moves 6, brings in 2 new faces in Ontario cabinet shuffle". Postmedia News. 
  17. ^ "Hon Bob Chiarelli, MPP (Ottawa West—Nepean)". Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "MPP Watson to run for Ottawa mayor". CBC News, January 12, 2010.

External links

  • Official website
  • Ontario Legislative Assembly Parliamentarian History
Provincial Government of Kathleen Wynne
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Christopher Bentley Minister of Energy
Provincial Government of Dalton McGuinty
Cabinet Posts (3)
Predecessor Office Successor
Kathleen Wynne Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Linda Jeffrey
Kathleen Wynne Minister of Transportation
Glen Murray
Brad Duguid (Energy and Infrastructure) Minister of Infrastructure
Glen Murray
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