Former Mayor of Ottawa
Ontario Liberal Party
Mayor of Ottawa (2000–2006)
Carol Chiarelli (m. ?–1996), Susan (Orth) Chiarelli
Katie Chiarelli, Christopher Robert Chiarelli, Donna Cormier, Lynn Chiarelli
University of Ottawa, Clarkson University
Allan Higdon (interim)
Mayor of Ottawa Bob Chiarelli at Project Porchlight launch
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 2001 to 2006. He has served in the provincial cabinets of Dalton McGuinty and Kathleen Wynne.
- Mayor of Ottawa Bob Chiarelli at Project Porchlight launch
- Municipal politics
- 2006 election
- Return to provincial politics
Bob 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 enjoys spending time with his five adult children and two grandchildren.
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. 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.
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.
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 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.