Bob Chiarelli was first elected Mayor of the 'new' City of Ottawa in November 2000 and was re-elected in November 2003.
His time as Mayor follows a career in law and business in addition to a distinguished political career representing the people of this region.
Mayor Chiarelli was born and raised in the Ottawa area. He grew up in the area around Preston Street called 'Little Italy,' attended the former St. Patrick's College High School, graduated from law school at the University of Ottawa in 1967 and began a legal practice specializing in corporate law.
He has been a member of the Greater Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation. He helped found the Carlingwood Alex Dayton Seniors Activity Centre, served as a Commissioner with the National Capital Commission and as a Director of the Ottawa Housing Authority.
Mayor Chiarelli entered political life in 1987, as MPP for Ottawa West, was re-elected in 1990 and 1995. At Queen's Park, he served as opposition critic to the Attorney General and Solicitor General, chaired the Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice and developed a keen sense of fiscal responsibility as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet.
His proudest accomplishment is his family. He and his wife Carol raised six children: Christopher, Lynn, Donna, Michelle, Andrea and Katie. The family suffered a devastating blow when Carol died after a battle with cancer in 1996. Bob decided then to leave provincial politics in order to be with his children full-time at home in McKellar Park in Ottawa's west end.
He was elected Regional Chair of Ottawa-Carleton in November 1997. When the 'new' City of Ottawa was created through amalgamation, he ran for and was elected its first Mayor.
During his time at the helm, Bob Chiarelli has spearheaded emergency measures during the catastrophic 1998 ice storm; dealt with provincial downloading of services to municipal government; introduced light rail to Ottawa as part of a continuing commitment to renewing public transit and infrastructure; helped make Ottawa the first city to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places; and, established a precedent-setting 'Ottawa 2020' official planning process that led to creation of a new community-driven Official Plan for the 'new' City of Ottawa. In recent years, he has been on the front lines in efforts to persuade other levels of government to create a new, fairer deal for Canada's cities.
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