|Leader of the Government in the House of Commons|
July 20, 2004 – January 23, 2006
|Prime Minister||Paul Martin|
|Preceded by||Jacques Saada|
|Succeeded by||Rob Nicholson|
|Minister of Transport|
December 12, 2003 – July 19, 2004
|Prime Minister||Paul Martin|
|Preceded by||David Collenette|
|Succeeded by||Jean Lapierre|
|Member of Parliament|
for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek
(Stoney Creek; 1997–2004 )
October 25, 1993 – January 23, 2006
|Preceded by||Shirley Martin|
|Succeeded by||Wayne Marston|
August 11, 1957
|Alma mater||McMaster University|
Tony Valeri,(born August 11, 1957) is a former Canadian politician. Valeri was the Government House Leader in Paul Martin's government from 2004 until 2006. He was narrowly defeated by New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Wayne Marston in the 2006 general election held on January 23, 2006.
Valeri grew up in Hamilton's north-end in the working class Barton and Sherman neighbourhood, the son of Italian immigrants Enzo and Maria Valeri, who arrived in Hamilton in the early 1950s. He graduated from Bishop Ryan High School and then attended McMaster University, earning a BA in Economics. Prior to his political career, Valeri served as President of Canadian Financial Group Ltd. Valeri represented the ridings of Lincoln (1993–1997), then Stoney Creek (1997–2004) and Hamilton East—Stoney Creek (2004–2006). Valeri lives with his wife Terri and children, Anthony and Luca in Stoney Creek.
Valeri first ran for office in the 1993 election, winning the Liberal Party nomination over former cabinet minister John Munro, and easily won in the Liberal sweep of Ontario. Valeri served as a backbencher and was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance in 1997. He was appointed to the Cabinet on December 12, 2003, by incoming Prime Minister Paul Martin. Valeri is known for his close ties to industry and business, and his appointment to the transport portfolio was viewed positively by this group. He was also known as a supporter of the Red Hill Valley Parkway.
In 2004, the decennial redistribution process took place and Valeri's old riding of Stoney Creek, which straddled the border between Hamilton and Grimsby, was split in two. A part of Valeri's Stoney Creek riding was merged with a part of Hamilton - East. A slight majority of the constituents of the new riding of Hamilton East - Stoney Creek were from Valeri's former riding. Although the other Hamilton-area Members of Parliament shifted to the eastward half of their ridings, in Valeri's case this would have meant shifting from a suburban Hamilton riding to the rural Niagara West—Glanbrook riding, where he would have faced a difficult battle with a candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada.
He therefore decided to run in the western half of his former riding, resulting in a passionate nomination battle with former cabinet heavyweight and party leadership candidate Sheila Copps. Some accused Martin of orchestrating these events to try to expel the left-leaning Copps from the House of Commons. Copps pointed out that Valeri lived in the Niagara West-Glanbrook riding that also included around 43% of his old constituents and an airport, the latter which complemented his Transport Ministry. In response, Valeri pointed out that Copps no longer lived in Hamilton, no Member of Parliament enjoyed any entitlement to any constituency without a nomination meeting and the majority of the constituents of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek in fact originated from his Stoney Creek riding. On March 6, 2004, Valeri won the nomination by 311 votes. Stelco's economic troubles and the large pension deficit galvanized support for New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Tony DePaulo in Hamilton East—Stoney Creek. The conflict with Copps, public reaction to the first budget of the Ontario Liberals, as well as the government's sinking fortunes, almost cost him his seat, but he was narrowly (less than 1,000 votes) re-elected on June 28, 2004.
On July 20, 2004, he was appointed to the sensitive position of Government House Leader in Paul Martin's minority government. Valeri's appointment to the position of House Leader was originally questioned by many, however Valeri was able to establish a working relationship with his counterparts.
As noted by Libby Davies, NDP House Leader, "We had some crazy moments but we always got down to business in a real way. It was a pleasure to work with (Valeri)." Former Conservative House Leader John Reynolds noted that "Tony was a great House Leader. A man of integrity and good humour."
In his 2008 memoir, entitled Hell Or High Water: My Life In And Out of Politics (ISBN 0771056923), former Prime Minister Paul Martin labeled Valeri as “one of the most gifted House Leaders of recent times.”
On January 23, 2006, Valeri was narrowly defeated by a margin of less than 500 votes by the New Democratic Party candidate Wayne Marston. During the election, the Hamilton Spectator reported that Valeri had purchased a property for $225,000 only to later sell it to a Liberal supporter for $500,000 a few months later. While Valeri insisted that the Ethics Commissioner had cleared the transaction, lingering doubts about the sale remained.
After his election defeat, Valeri established a public affairs and strategic consulting business and held a residence position within the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
Given the very narrow margin of his defeat in the 2006 election, some had speculated that Valeri would seek a return to politics in the Hamilton East—Stoney Creek riding. At the Gala Tribute held in his honour, Valeri indicated that he wants to continue to serve the people of Hamilton and Stoney Creek, leaving open the option of a return to federal politics.. However, on April 15, 2007, former Hamilton mayor Larry Di Ianni was nominated as the Liberal candidate for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek for the next federal election, precluding a rematch between Valeri and Marston at least for now. 
On December 5, 2007, the Hamilton Port Authority named Valeri its interim CEO effective on December 17, 2007. He left the post in 2008.
As of June 2011, Valeri has held the position of Vice President Public Affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton.
Since leaving public office Valeri remained actively involved in the community. Valeri is the past Chair of the St. Joseph’s Hamilton Healthcare Board of Trustees, a Director on the Board of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and a member of the McMaster Board of Governors.
|1993 Canadian federal election: Lincoln|
|Progressive Conservative||Jim Merritt||8,731||15.69||$43,063|
|New Democratic||Peter Cassidy||2,182||3.92||$16,976|
|Natural Law||Cynthia Marchand||307||0.55||$200|
|Total valid votes||55,656||100.00|
|Total rejected ballots||544|
|Electors on the lists||77,974|
|Source: Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from official contributions and expenses provided by Elections Canada.|
|1997 Canadian federal election: Stoney Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Angie Tomasic||9,440|
|New Democratic||Peter Cassidy||3,392|
|Christian Heritage||Angela M. Braun||472|
|Natural Law||Cynthia Marchand||261|
|2000 Canadian federal election: Stoney Creek|
|Progressive Conservative||Grant Howell||6,102|
|New Democratic||Mark Davies||3,083|
|Canadian Action||Phil Rose||450|
|New Democratic||Tony Depaulo||17,490||35.8%|
|New Democratic||Wayne Marston||19,346||36.0%||+0.2%|