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Bob Chiarelli

Bob Chiarelli

Robert Chiarelli (born September 24, 1941) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Liberal member in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario who served from 1987 to 1997 and again from 2010 to 2018 who represented the ridings of Ottawa West and Ottawa West—Nepean. He was the Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton from 1997 to 2001 and was mayor of Ottawa from 2001 to 2006. He served in the provincial cabinets of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne. Chiarelli is currently a candidate for Mayor of Ottawa in the 2022 Ottawa municipal election.

Bob Chiarelli
Chiarelli in 2012
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Ottawa West—Nepean
In office
March 4, 2010  June 7, 2018
Preceded byJim Watson
Succeeded byJeremy Roberts
57th Mayor of Ottawa
In office
January 1, 2001  December 1, 2006
Preceded byAllan Higdon (interim)
Succeeded byLarry O'Brien
Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton
In office
November 10, 1997  January 1, 2001
Preceded byPeter Clark
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Ottawa West
In office
September 10, 1987  July 23, 1997
Preceded byReuben Baetz
Succeeded byAlex Cullen
Personal details
Robert Chiarelli

(1941-09-24) September 24, 1941
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Susan Orth

Carol Chiarelli
(m. 1985; died 1996)

Randi Hansen


Chiarelli was raised in the Little Italy area of Ottawa near Preston Street.[1] His parents were 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. He lives in Ottawa with his partner Randi Hansen, and has five adult children and two grandchildren.

Provincial politics

Chiarelli entered politics in 1987, where he 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.[2] 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.[3][4][5] Chiarelli endorsed Dalton McGuinty's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996.[5]

He resigned his seat in 1997 in order to pursue a position in municipal politics.[6]

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.[7][8] Chiarelli was re-elected in the 2011 and 2014 elections.[9][10]

On August 18, 2010, Chiarelli was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Public Infrastructure and Renewal.[11]

On June 7, 2018, Chiarelli was defeated in the provincial election. He placed 3rd, behind the PC and NDP local candidates. The Progressive Conservatives, led by Doug Ford, won a sizeable majority government, ending 15 consecutive years of Liberal power.

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.[12] For the next three years, he advocated eliminating the region's "two-tiered" government, and amalgamating the regional municipalities into a single city.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] He was easily re-elected in the 2003 election beating his closest rival by nearly 40,000 votes.[16]

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.[17] 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 municipal politics

On December 10, 2021, Chiarelli announced his intention to return to municipal politics, declaring himself a candidate for his former job as mayor in the 2022 municipal election.[18]

Electoral record

2018 Ontario general election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%
Progressive ConservativeJeremy Roberts16,59032.82−0.47
New DemocraticChandra Pasma16,41532.48+18.19
LiberalBob Chiarelli14,81029.30−16.38
GreenPat Freel1,9373.83−2.18
None of the AboveColin A. Pritchard5421.07
LibertarianNicholas Paliga2510.50-0.22
Total valid votes 50,545100.00
Progressive Conservative gain Swing
Source: Elections Ontario[19]
2014 Ontario general election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalBob Chiarelli21,03544.84+4.06
Progressive ConservativeRandall Denley15,89533.89−6.06
New DemocraticAlex Cullen6,76014.41−0.51
GreenAlex Hill2,8996.18+2.67
LibertarianMatthew Brooks3180.68
Total valid votes 46,907100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 719 1.53
Turnout 47,626 55.95
Eligible voters 85,125  
Liberal hold Swing +5.06
"General Election Results by District, 066 Ottawa West—Nepean". Elections Ontario. 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
2011 Ontario general election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalBob Chiarelli18,49241.62−1.83$ 93,241.85
Progressive ConservativeRandall Denley17,48339.35+0.3680,950.00
New DemocraticWendy Byrne6,57614.80+6.3513,936.09
GreenAlex Hill1,4853.34−4.963,113.29
Family CoalitionJohn Pacheco3960.89 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 provincial by-election, March 4, 2010: Ottawa West—Nepean
Resignation of Jim Watson
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalBob Chiarelli12,35343.45−7.19$ 100,242.09
Progressive ConservativeBeth Graham11,08638.99+7.1998,437.24
New DemocraticPam Fitzgerald2,4048.45−1.2420,689.04
GreenMark Mackenzie2,3598.30+2.1316,707.36
IndependentJohn Turmel2300.81 0.00
Total valid votes 28,432 100.0   −39.61
Total rejected ballots 163 0.57 −0.07
Turnout 28,595 32.94 −24.57
Eligible voters 86,809   +5.35
2006 Ottawa municipal election: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes%±%
IndependentLarry O'Brien141,26247.08-
IndependentAlex Munter108,75236.25-
IndependentBob Chiarelli46,69715.56-40.97
IndependentJane Scharf1,4670.49-
IndependentPiotr Anweiler7620.25-
IndependentRobert Larter6670.22-
IndependentBarkley Pollock4320.14-
Total valid votes 300,039
2003 Ottawa municipal election: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes%±%
IndependentBob Chiarelli104,59556.53+0.21
IndependentTerry Kilrea66,63436.02-
IndependentIke Awgu5,3942.92-
IndependentRon Burke2,6981.46-
IndependentJohn A. Bell2,0271.10-
IndependentDonna Upson1,3120.71-
IndependentPaula Nemchin1,1910.64+0.36
IndependentJohn Turmel1,1660.63+0.36
Total valid votes 185,017
2000 Ottawa municipal election: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes%±%
IndependentBob Chiarelli142,97256.32+6.72[lower-alpha 1]
IndependentClaudette Cain102,94040.55-
IndependentGeorge Saadé2,5971.02-
IndependentMarc-André Bélair1,8460.73-
IndependentJames A. Hall8430.33-
IndependentKen Mills7730.30-
IndependentPaula Nemchin7020.28-
IndependentJohn Turmel6770.27-2.23[lower-alpha 1]
IndependentMorteza Naini5160.20-
Total valid votes 253,866
  1. Results taken from 1997 regional election.
1997 Regional Municipality of Ottawa–Carleton election: Regional Chair
Party Candidate Votes%±%{{#switch:bob chiarelli|textcase|testcases|sandbox=|
IndependentBob Chiarelli81,92649.60-
IndependentPeter Clark79,12847.90-7.10
IndependentJohn Turmel4,1262.50+0.15
Total valid votes 165,180
1995 Ontario general election: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalBob Chiarelli14,51645.48+3.87
Progressive ConservativeGreg Joy12,89840.41+13.28
New DemocraticKarim Ismaili3,71811.64−13.47
GreenStephen Johns4481.40−1.60
IndependentAndy Sammon2410.75
Natural LawStan Lamothe960.30
Total valid votes 31,917100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 4331.34
Turnout 32,23464.43
Eligible voters 51,542
Liberal hold Swing
1990 Ontario general election: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalBob Chiarelli13,90841.61−8.85
Progressive ConservativeBrian Mackey9,06827.13−3.59
New DemocraticAllan Edwards8,39125.11+11.51
Confederation of RegionsDavid Boyd1,0443.14
GreenIan Whyte1,0113.00
Total valid votes 33,422100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 4331.28
Turnout 33,85565.68
Eligible voters 51,542
Liberal hold Swing
1987 Ontario general election: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes%±%
LiberalBob Chiarelli16,34350.46+12.94
Progressive ConservativeDerek Insley9,95130.72−15.91
New DemocraticPaul Weinzweig4,40313.60−0.08
Family CoalitionLynn McPherson1,6895.21
Total valid votes 32,386100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 2510.77
Turnout 32,63761.61
Eligible voters 52,977
Liberal gain Swing


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 26, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  5. 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.
  6. Eade, Ron (April 3, 1997). "Chiarelli will seek regional chair: Incumbent Clark files papers to seek third term". The Ottawa Citizen. p. B1.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. "Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. October 6, 2011. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2013. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  10. "General Election by District: Ottawa West-Nepean". Elections Ontario. June 12, 2014. Archived from the original on September 23, 2014.
  11. Aveling, Nick (August 18, 2010). "McGuinty moves 6, brings in 2 new faces in Ontario cabinet shuffle". Postmedia News.
  12. Delacourt, Susan; Coutts, Jane (November 11, 1997). "Veterans picked to face unknown: Ontario voters have largely chosen ...". The Globe and Mail. p. A12.
  13. "Lansdowne deal looks promising". The Ottawa Citizen. April 27, 1999. p. F4.
  14. Gray, Ken (February 10, 2000). "Foreign Affairs has its eye on Ottawa City Hall: Chiarelli". The Ottawa Citizen. p. F3.
  15. "Chiarelli wins historic race to lead amalgamated City of Ottawa". Canadian Press NewsWire. November 13, 2000.
  16. "Final election results". The Ottawa Citizen. November 12, 2003. p. B7.
  17. "Chiarelli reveals 10-point plan". Ottawa Citizen. October 19, 2006. Archived from the original on March 5, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2010.
  18. "Bob Chiarelli, Diane Deans and Catherine McKenney confirm they'll run for mayor of Ottawa". Ottawa Citizen. December 10, 2021. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  19. "Summary of Valid Votes Cast for each Candidate" (PDF). Elections Ontario. p. 8. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
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