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Bob Chiarelli
Bob Chiarelli OTT.jpg
Chiarelli in 2022
Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament
for Ottawa West—Nepean
Ottawa West (1987—1997)
In office
March 4, 2010 – June 7, 2018
Preceded by Jim Watson
Succeeded by Jeremy Roberts
In office
September 10, 1987 – July 23, 1997
Preceded by Reuben Baetz
Succeeded by Alex Cullen
57th Mayor of Ottawa
In office
January 1, 2001 – December 1, 2006
Preceded by Allan Higdon (interim)
Succeeded by Larry O'Brien
Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton
In office
November 10, 1997 – January 1, 2001
Preceded by Peter Clark
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born
Robert Chiarelli

(1941-09-24) September 24, 1941 (age 82)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political party Liberal
Spouses
Susan Orth
(divorced)
Carol Chiarelli
(m. 1985; died 1996)
  • Randi Hansen
Profession Lawyer

Robert Chiarelli (born September 24, 1941) is a Canadian politician. 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 was a candidate for Mayor of Ottawa in the 2022 Ottawa municipal election.

Background

Chiarelli was raised in the Little Italy area of Ottawa near Preston Street. 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. 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. Chiarelli endorsed Dalton McGuinty's bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party in 1996.

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

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. Chiarelli was re-elected in the 2011 and 2014 elections.

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

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

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

2006 election

2006 Chiarelli vote
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. 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. He finished third with 5.08% of the vote.

Electoral record

ed {{{2}}}
Candidate Popular vote Expenditures
Votes  % ±%
Mark Sutcliffe 161,679 51.37
Catherine McKenney 119,241 37.88
Bob Chiarelli 15,998 5.08
Nour Kadri 7,496 2.38
Mike Maguire 2,775 0.88
Graham MacDonald 1,629 0.52
Brandon Bay 1,512 0.48
Param Singh 1,176 0.37
Celine Debassige 867 0.28
Ade Olumide 636 0.20
Gregory Jreg Guevara 584 0.19
Bernard Couchman 471 0.15 -0.21
Jacob Solomon 432 0.14
Zed Chebib 264 0.08
Total valid votes 314,760 99.53
Total rejected, unmarked and declined votes 1,500 0.47 -0.92
Turnout 316,260 43.79 +1.24
Eligible voters 722,227
Note: Candidate campaign colours are based on the prominent colour used in campaign items (signs, literature, etc.)
and are used as a visual differentiation between candidates.
Sources: Elections Ottawa
Ontario general election, 2018: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Jeremy Roberts 16,590 32.82 −1.06
New Democratic Chandra Pasma 16,415 32.48 +18.06
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 14,810 29.30 −15.54
Green Pat Freel 1,937 3.83 −2.35
None of the Above Colin A. Pritchard 542 1.07
Libertarian Nicholas Paliga 251 0.50 -0.18
Total valid votes 50,545 98.92
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 552 1.08 -0.43
Turnout 51,097 57.04 +1.10
Eligible voters 89,575
Progressive Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +7.24
Source: Elections Ontario
Ontario general election, 2014: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 21,035 44.84 +4.06
Progressive Conservative Randall Denley 15,895 33.89 −6.06
New Democratic Alex Cullen 6,760 14.41 −0.51
Green Alex Hill 2,899 6.18 +2.67
Libertarian Matthew Brooks 318 0.68
Total valid votes 46,907 98.49
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 719 1.51
Turnout 47,626 55.95
Eligible voters 85,125  
Liberal hold Swing +5.06
{{{1}}}
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 provincial by-election, March 4, 2010: Ottawa West—Nepean
Resignation of Jim Watson
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 12,353 43.45 −7.19 $ 100,242.09
Progressive Conservative Beth Graham 11,086 38.99 +7.19 98,437.24
New Democratic Pam Fitzgerald 2,404 8.45 −1.24 20,689.04
Green Mark Mackenzie 2,359 8.30 +2.13 16,707.36
Independent John Turmel 230 0.81   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
Ottawa municipal election, 2006: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Larry O'Brien 141,262 47.08 -
Independent Alex Munter 108,752 36.25 -
Independent Bob Chiarelli 46,697 15.56 -40.97
Independent Jane Scharf 1,467 0.49 -
Independent Piotr Anweiler 762 0.25 -
Independent Robert Larter 667 0.22 -
Independent Barkley Pollock 432 0.14 -
Total valid votes 300,039
Ottawa municipal election, 2003: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Bob Chiarelli 104,595 56.53 +0.21
Independent Terry Kilrea 66,634 36.02 -
Independent Ike Awgu 5,394 2.92 -
Independent Ron Burke 2,698 1.46 -
Independent John A. Bell 2,027 1.10 -
Independent Donna Upson 1,312 0.71 -
Independent Paula Nemchin 1,191 0.64 +0.36
Independent John Turmel 1,166 0.63 +0.36
Total valid votes 185,017
Ottawa municipal election, 2000: Mayor
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Bob Chiarelli 142,972 56.32 +6.72
Independent Claudette Cain 102,940 40.55 -
Independent George Saadé 2,597 1.02 -
Independent Marc-André Bélair 1,846 0.73 -
Independent James A. Hall 843 0.33 -
Independent Ken Mills 773 0.30 -
Independent Paula Nemchin 702 0.28 -
Independent John Turmel 677 0.27 -2.23
Independent Morteza Naini 516 0.20 -
Total valid votes 253,866
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Bob Chiarelli 82,165 49.54 -
Independent Peter Clark 79,407 47.88 -7.12
Independent John Turmel 4,129 2.49 +0.14
Total valid votes 165,845
Source:Official Results, City of Ottawa Archives
Ontario general election, 1995: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 14,516 45.48 +3.87
Progressive Conservative Greg Joy 12,898 40.41 +13.28
New Democratic Karim Ismaili 3,718 11.64 −13.47
Green Stephen Johns 448 1.40 −1.60
Independent Andy Sammon 241 0.75
Natural Law Stan Lamothe 96 0.30
Total valid votes 31,917 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 433 1.34
Turnout 32,234 64.43
Eligible voters 51,542
Liberal hold Swing
Ontario general election, 1990: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 13,908 41.61 −8.85
Progressive Conservative Brian Mackey 9,068 27.13 −3.59
New Democratic Allan Edwards 8,391 25.11 +11.51
Confederation of Regions David Boyd 1,044 3.14
Green Ian Whyte 1,011 3.00
Total valid votes 33,422 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 433 1.28
Turnout 33,855 65.68
Eligible voters 51,542
Liberal hold Swing
Ontario general election, 1987: Ottawa West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Bob Chiarelli 16,343 50.46 +12.94
Progressive Conservative Derek Insley 9,951 30.72 −15.91
New Democratic Paul Weinzweig 4,403 13.60 −0.08
Family Coalition Lynn McPherson 1,689 5.21
Total valid votes 32,386 100.00
Total rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 251 0.77
Turnout 32,637 61.61
Eligible voters 52,977
Liberal gain Swing

See also

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