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Bob Bratina
Bob Bratina on Canada Day 2017 (36658511686) (cropped).jpg
Bratina in 2017
Member of the Canadian Parliament for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
In office
October 19, 2015 – August 15, 2021
Preceded byWayne Marston
Succeeded byChad Collins
56th Mayor of Hamilton
In office
December 1, 2010 – December 3, 2014
Preceded byFred Eisenberger
Succeeded byFred Eisenberger
Hamilton City Councillor
In office
October 5, 2004 – December 1, 2010
Preceded byAndrea Horwath
Succeeded byJason Farr
ConstituencyWard 2
Personal details
Robert Bratina

1944 (age 77–78)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal[1]
Other political
Ontario Liberal[2]
Carol Bratina
(m. 1966)
  • Polician
  • radio broadcaster

Robert Bratina (born 1944) is a Canadian politician and former broadcaster who was the 56th mayor of Hamilton from 2010 to 2014. Previously, he sat on the Hamilton City Council from 2004 until 2010. He went on to be the Liberal member of Parliament for the riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek from 2015 to 2021.

Early life

Bratina was born in 1944 in Hamilton and grew up in the city's East End.[4][5] Bratina's father immigrated to Hamilton from Zagreb, Croatia at the age of six,[6] and worked for Dofasco. Bratina is of Serbian and Croatian ancestry.[7][8][9] He is an alumnus of Delta High School.[10] After graduation, Bratina worked for at Dofasco, his father's workplace.[6]

Radio host

Dissatisfied with the nature of his work at Dofasco, Bratina pursued his childhood dream of working in radio broadcasting. Always wanting to work in radio, he found his first broadcasting job at CJCS in Stratford in 1965.[6][11]

Bratina was the morning show co-host with Shiona Thompson on CHML Radio in Hamilton, until September 2010, when he decided to resign his co-host job to run for Mayor of Hamilton.[citation needed]

At times he has achieved record high ratings (BBM 22 Share) of all morning shows in Hamilton. He also re-introduced phone-in talk radio to CFRB, and achieved highest listenership (120 thousand per quarter-hour average) in Toronto in his time period.[citation needed]

Bratina was also the play-by-play voice for Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[12] He also filled that role for Toronto Argonauts, combining for a total of 20 seasons, and never missed a broadcast for more than 500 games. He also broadcast McMaster Football and Basketball games, and was commentator on junior hockey broadcasts in Kitchener (CKKW) and Senior A hockey in Guelph (Regals).[citation needed]

In 1998, Bratina was inducted as a member of the Football Reporters of Canada Hall of Fame.[13]

Bratina was a nominee for Hamilton Citizen of the Year, won Hamilton Mountain Citizen of the Year, member of GO Transit Board of Directors, Art Gallery of Hamilton Board of Directors, Theatre Aquarius Board of Directors, and HECFI Board of Directors.[14][15][better source needed]

Municipal politics

Bratina was elected in a 2004 by-election called upon the previous councillor, Andrea Horwath's, election as MPP for Hamilton Centre.[16] Bratina campaigned on a platform of citizen participation at City Hall, downtown revitalization and greater integrity at city hall.[17] He was reelected in the 2006 municipal election.

During his time as Ward Two councillor, Bratina sat on the GO Transit Board of Directors.[18] Bratina advocated for transportation changes in Hamilton, such as returning rail passenger service to Hamilton GO Centre and moving idling buses from the downtown Gore Park area to a new transit terminal on MacNab Street.[citation needed]

Due to the age of many of the buildings in Bratina's downtown ward, he became a vocal advocate for updating Hamilton's aging lead-based infrastructure. His concerns over high lead readings in city drinking water resulted in a lead water service replacement loan program and a lead blood screening program for young children[citation needed]

A controversial public figure, Bratina was both rated as one of Hamilton's most trustworthy politicians by readers of View Magazine and publicly criticized for unprofessional conduct, including an incident in which he tossed a pen during a council meeting.[19]


Bratina in 2010
Bratina in 2010

In late summer of 2010, Bratina announced that he would not seek re-election in Ward Two, opting instead to run for mayor against incumbent Fred Eisenberger and former mayor Larry Di Ianni, citing his reasoning as what he believed to be Eisenberger's poor handling of the site-selection process for a proposed stadium to be built in preparation for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.[20] Bratina lead in opinion polls for much of the campaign and, on election night, won 37.32% of the vote and carried 12 of the city's 15 wards to become the city's 57th mayor.[21]

In December 2011 Bratina defended a $30,000 pay increase for his chief of staff, Peggy Chapman, by saying that the raise was the result of a standard re-evaluation of salaries by the city's human resources department.[22] Acting on a complaint, the city's integrity commissioner presented a report to Council on in May 2012 clearing Bratina of three allegations related to bullying city staff and breaking city compensation, finding no evidence of misconduct. On the fourth allegation, the report found that Bratina had broken the Council Code of Conduct when he provided misleading information to the editorial board of The Hamilton Spectator, but said that he had not done so deliberately or out of malice.[23]

In August 2012, Bratina was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the second Queen's Jubilee Medal that he was given for his contributions to Hamilton.[24][6]

As mayor, Bratina spoke out against the city's light rail transit plan, advocating instead for improvements to the Hamilton Street Railway's bus service and increases in GO Transit frequency because he said the city's ridership levels were too low to support light rail – a position which brought him into opposition with some members of the council.[25][26] Hamilton City Council approved the city's Rapid Ready LRT plan in February 2013,[27] but Bratina but continued to speak out against it. After an interview with The Hamilton Spectator, the paper said that he had incorrectly claimed Premier Kathleen Wynne had told him Hamilton would have to choose between LRT and a Stoney Creek GO Train extension,[28] but Bratina said that he had been misquoted by the paper.[29]

In April 2013, city councillors Jason Farr and Sam Merulla claimed that Bratina had attempted to intimidate Hamilton's City Manager, Chris Murray during a heated debate on light rail.[29][30] After the city council voted to refer it to the Integrity Commissioner, the subsequent report cleared Bratina, finding that while his actions "not appropriate," they did not violate the Council Code of Conduct because neither Murray nor other city employees present had felt threatened.[31]

Bratina did not run for reelection in the city's 2014 municipal elections, opting instead to seek nomination as a Liberal candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election.[32] According to CBC News, despite conflicts with council, Bratina's term as mayor saw the completion of a new stadium, development in the downtown core, low tax increases, and a move to solve the impasse in the local Randle Reef project.[33]

In October 2015, a report by the Manning Centre on the dynamics of Hamilton City Council during Bratina's tenure found that the mayor was the only member of the council to have attended every council meeting, and that despite conflict with council, Bratina had always voted with the majority on the council.[34]

Federal politics

Bratina pictured in January 2019
Bratina pictured in January 2019

After opting to not contest Hamilton's mayoralty in 2014, Bratina was rumoured to be seeking the Liberal Party's nomination to run as a candidate in Hamilton Centre. Having previously been approached by the Liberals to challenge Hamilton Centre's New Democrat incumbent David Christopherson in 2009, speculation focused on Bratina's potential candidacy in the inner-city riding.[35] In August, 2014, Bratina announced he was seeking the Liberal nomination in the neighbouring riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, challenging New Democrat incumbent Wayne Marston.[36] Bratina was acclaimed the Liberal candidate for the riding on October 29, 2014.[32]

In campaigning for Parliament, Bratina emphasized a platform of serving as a strong voice on Parliament Hill and continuing his fight for increased transportation funding for the GTHA corridor.[37] Bratina was elected on October 19, 2015, with 38.8% of the vote, defeating Marston, who placed second with 32.7%.[38] The Canadian Press touted Bratina as a potential member of the 29th Canadian Ministry led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, because of his experience in Hamilton's municipal government.[12]

In February 2017, a private member's bill introduced by Bratina after the Flint water crisis to create a national strategy to manage lead contamination in drinking water reached the committee stage.[39]

In February 2019, Bratina, while in a meeting with union representatives for local steelworkers, allegedly lost his temper when challenged by union representatives about his promise to advocate for Hamilton area steel workers. The union stated that Bratina shouted "F--k steelworkers" and "F--k those Stelco pensioners"[40] before telling them to get out of his "(expletive) office" then violently slamming the door behind them.[41]

On February 28, 2019 neighbouring MP Scott Duvall claimed Bratina "verbally abused the delegation; attempted to physically intimidate them by striking various pieces of furniture and violently slamming his office door; insulted and disparaged the organization, including the retirees of Stelco Inc., and expelled them from his office".[42] Bratina later said he regrets the "inferences" that came out of a meeting.[43]

In May 2021, Bratina announced that he would not seek re-election in the 2021 Canadian federal election, citing his disagreement with the federal decision to contribute 1.7 billion dollars to the Hamilton LRT as a major reason. In an exit interview, Bratina criticized the project's cost and its lack of connections to the GO Transit transit and also left the door open to a future mayoral run.[44]

Personal life

Mayor and musician Bob Bratina playing hydraulophone at the Hamilton Children's Water Festival, May 30, 2012
Mayor and musician Bob Bratina playing hydraulophone at the Hamilton Children's Water Festival, May 30, 2012
The Balkan Strings featuring Bob Bratina, Hamilton Wingfest 2008
The Balkan Strings featuring Bob Bratina, Hamilton Wingfest 2008

Bratina's wife of fifty years, Carol, sang with his former group the Balkan StringsTamburitza Orchestra, now disbanded, in which he played the brač, clarinet, saxophone and accordion.[45][8][12]

Bratina was an avid marathon runner, finishing 18 marathons, including the Boston Marathon, ten Around the Bay Road Races in Hamilton, and numerous other distances. At 70 years of age, he challenged the 40-year-old mayor of Flint, Michigan, to a mile race at the 2013 Canusa games.[6][8]

Electoral record


2019 Canadian federal election: Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bob Bratina 20,112 38.57 -0.42 $70,837.02
New Democratic Nick Milanovic 14,930 28.63 -4.08 $64,221.61
Conservative Nikki Kaur 13,130 25.18 -0.08 $75,555.96
Green Peter Ormond 2,902 5.57 +2.97 $4,130.84
People's Charles Crocker 1,072 2.06 none listed
Total valid votes/expense limit 52,146 98.99
Total rejected ballots 533 1.01 +0.43
Turnout 52,679 61.79 -0.99
Eligible voters 85,252
Liberal hold Swing +1.83
Source: Elections Canada[46][47]
2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Bob Bratina 19,622 38.99 +25.41 $64,967.22
New Democratic Wayne Marston 16,465 32.71 -11.54 $69,194.30
Conservative Diane Bubanko 12,715 25.26 -11.66 $23,736.31
Green Erin Davis 1,305 2.59 -0.26 $1,551.87
Communist Bob Mann 170 0.34
Marxist–Leninist Wendell Fields 55 0.11
Total valid votes/Expense limit 50,332 100.00   $215,134.00
Total rejected ballots 293 0.58
Turnout 50,625 63.25
Eligible voters 80,042
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +18.48
Source: Elections Canada[48][49]


Summary of the October 25, 2010 Hamilton, Ontario Mayoral Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Bob Bratina 52,684 37.32% n/a
Larry Di Ianni 40,091 28.40% -14.44%
Fred Eisenberger (incumbent) 38,719 27.43% -15.78%
Michael Baldasaro 2,892 2.05% -1.56%
Tone Marrone 1,052 0.75% n/a
Mahesh Butani 950 0.67% n/a
Glenn Hamilton 949 0.67% n/a
Pasquale (Pat) Filice 768 0.54% n/a
Ken Leach 577 0.41% n/a
Andrew Haines 557 0.39% n/a
Mark Wozny 433 0.31% n/a
Steven Waxman 429 0.30% n/a
Edward Graydon 404 0.29% n/a
Gino Speziale 356 0.25% -0.77%
Victor Veri 313 0.22% n/a
Total votes 141,174 100%
Registered voters 353,317 40.45% +3.2%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
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: Hamilton, Ontario, City Clerk's Office
Summary of the November 13, 2006 Hamilton, Ontario Ward Two Councillor Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Bob Bratina (incumbent) 4,001 66.78% +30.04% Note 1
Judy MacDonald-Musitano 1,424 23.77% +17.75% Note 1
Dawn Lescaudron 319 5.32% -
Haider Shaikh 247 4.12% -
Total votes 5,991 100%
Registered voters 19,782 31.25%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
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.
Note 1: Results compared to 2004 By-Election
Sources: Hamilton, Ontario, City Clerk's Office
Candidates for the October 1, 2004 Hamilton, Ontario Ward 2 Councillor By-Election
Candidate Popular vote
Votes % ±%
Bob Bratina 1,856 37.74% -
James Novak 1,152 22.80% -4.84% (Note 1)
Don Drury 1,094 21.66% -
Loren Lieberman 387 7.66% -
Judy MacDonald-Musitano 304 6.02% -
Robert Hugh Cameron 84 1.66% -
Michael Baldasaro 52 1.03% -
Alex Garofolo 43 0.85% -
Keith Beck 29 0.57% -
Dan Langan 29 0.57% -
Jerry Moore 22 0.44% -3.6% (Note 1)
Total votes 5,052
Registered voters 25980 19.47% -8.53%
Note: All Hamilton Municipal Elections are officially non-partisan.
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.
Note 1: Results compared to 2003 Municipal Election

See also


  1. ^ "Bob Bratina | Your member of parliament for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek".
  2. ^ Steve Arnold (October 5, 2011). "Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina endorses Liberals". The Hamilton Spectator.
  3. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "BRATINA, Bob". Library of Parliament. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Hume, Christopher (October 13, 2013). "Toronto and Hamilton switch prince-and-pauper roles". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e Wells, Jon (October 29, 2010). "Bob's your mayor". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Fragomeni, Carmela (August 11, 2013). "Serbian hunting club oldest of its kind in North America". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Ma, D. (October 27, 2010). "Canadian Croat Bob Bratina was elected as a mayor of Hamilton". Dnevnik (in Croatian). Nova TV. Retrieved March 22, 2017. Kanadski Hrvat Robert Bob Bratina izabran je za gradonačelnika Hamiltona u pokrajini Ontariju, devetoga najvećeg grada u Kanadi s više od 700 tisuća stanovnika.("Canadian Croat Robert Bob Bratina was elected as a mayor of Hamilton in the province of Ontario, the ninth largest city in Canada with more than 700 000 inhabitants.")
  9. ^ Craggs, Samantha (July 10, 2016). "Part of Burlington Street is now Tesla Boulevard - but why Hamilton?". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  10. ^ Fragomeni, Carmela (December 10, 2010). "High school gets CPR training". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  11. ^ Mahoney, Jeff (June 27, 2012). "Mayor Bob back behind the mic". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Beyond the stars: Liberal rank-and-file MPs who could be up for cabinet". CTVNews. The Canadian Press. November 3, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  13. ^ "Bob Bratina". Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  14. ^ "Official Web site: Bob Bratina". Archived from the original on November 22, 2005. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
  15. ^ "CHML Biography: Bob Bratina". Archived from the original on June 14, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
  16. ^ "2004 By-Election Results". City of Hamilton. October 5, 2004. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
  17. ^ Bob Bratina: Issues and Priorities. Archived on Mar 27, 2009
  18. ^ "More trains in GO plan". The Hamilton Spectator. December 18, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  19. ^ Nichole MacIntyre, The Pencil is mightier than ... Hall Marks, April 13, 2007
  20. ^ Dreschel, Andrew. "Bratina officially joins race for mayor," The Hamilton Spectator, September 3, 2010, Opinion.
  21. ^ City of Hamilton, "Election Results, 2010."
  22. ^ Emma Reilly, Mayor's chief of staff gets 33 per cent pay hike, The Hamilton Spectator, December 7, 2011.
  23. ^ Reilly, Emma (June 8, 2012). "Integrity commissioner raps Bratina over 'Peggygate'". The Hamilton Spectator. Archived from the original on March 21, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2019.
    - "Bratina gets second spanking over Peggygate". CHCH. June 8, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  24. ^ "Prominent Hamiltonians get Jubilee medal". The Hamilton Spectator. August 13, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  25. ^ Reilly, Emma (September 9, 2011). "McGuinty's keen to get GOing on all-day service for city". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  26. ^ Craggs, Samantha (June 21, 2016). "Despite letters from other MPPs and MPs, Bob Bratina isn't ready to support LRT". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  27. ^ Craggs, Samantha (March 14, 2017). "Hamilton councillors about to cast a major vote on LRT's environmental impact". CBC News. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  28. ^ Mayor’s comment on LRT takes wrong turn, The Hamilton Spectator, April 18, 2013.
  29. ^ a b Craggs, Samantha (April 24, 2013). "Hamilton mayor bullied city manager, councillor claims". CBC News. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  30. ^ Craggs, Samantha (May 3, 2013). "Hamilton's integrity commissioner may investigate Bratina LRT incident". CBC News. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  31. ^ "Integrity commissioner clears Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina". CBC News. November 12, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  32. ^ a b Nolan, Daniel (October 30, 2014). "Bratina touted as a 'game changer' for federal Liberals". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  33. ^ Craggs, Samantha (September 25, 2014). "Why Bob Bratina after 4 years as mayor regrets 'nothing'". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
    - Craggs, Samantha (March 14, 2014). "Bratina won't run for Hamilton mayor, but says he could have won". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  34. ^ Carter, Adam (October 27, 2015). "Calgary group examines council, laments lack of debate". CBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  35. ^ Dreschel, Andrew (March 14, 2014). "Dreschel: Bratina won't seek mayoral reelection". The Hamilton Spectator.
  36. ^ Dreschel, Andrew (August 20, 2014). "Dreschel: Bratina takes steps to run federally". The Hamilton Spectator.
  37. ^ "As he prepares to leave office, Bob Bratina offers some final thoughts on his term as mayor". The Bay Observer.
  38. ^ Canada, Elections. "Election Night Results - Electoral Districts".
  39. ^ "Bratina's bill on lead in water goes to committee". The Hamilton Spectator. February 10, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  40. ^ Feb 27, Samantha Craggs · CBC News · Posted; February 28, 2019 3:52 PM ET | Last Updated. "Hamilton MP Bratina said 'f--k' steelworkers and Stelco pensioners' at meeting: union | CBC News". CBC.
  41. ^ "Steelworkers claim Hamilton MP swore at union reps, demand apology - Hamilton". February 27, 2019.
  42. ^ "Debates (Hansard) No. 389 - February 28, 2019 (42-1) - House of Commons of Canada".
  43. ^ Paddon, Natalie (March 1, 2019). "Bob Bratina denies swearing at steelworkers, regrets speculation that came out of Ottawa meeting". The Hamilton Spectator.
  44. ^ Lawson, Andrea (May 17, 2021). "Liberal MP Bob Bratina will not run in next federal election, considering mayoral run". CHCH. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  45. ^ "Meet Bob Bratina". Bob Bratina. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  46. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  47. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  48. ^ Canada, Elections. "Voter Information Service - Find your electoral district".
  49. ^ Canada, Elections. "Error page". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  50. ^ De Almeida, Jacquie (October 2, 2004). "Bratina, Samson elected to council". Hamilton Spectator.