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Al Palladini

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Al Palladini
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byRiding established
Succeeded byGreg Sorbara
In office
Preceded byGreg Sorbara
Succeeded byRiding abolished
ConstituencyYork Centre
Personal details
Born(1943-12-24)December 24, 1943
Prossedi, Italy
DiedMarch 7, 2001(2001-03-07) (aged 57)
Near Acapulco, Mexico
Political partyProgressive Conservative
OccupationAutomobile sales

Al Palladini (December 24, 1943 – March 7, 2001) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1995 to 2001, and was a cabinet minister in the government of Mike Harris.


Palladini was born in Prossedi, Italy. He was the owner of Al Palladini's Pine Tree Lincoln Mercury automobile dealership[1] in Woodbridge, Ontario becoming locally famous for the slogan, "Any Palladini is a pal of mine" in a series of ads conceived by CHUM Radio's Larry MacInnis, and voiced by a young Rick Moranis when he was an announcer at CHUM FM radio in Toronto. He was named Canadian World Auto Marketer of the Year in 1994, and was the Vaughan Outstanding Business Achievement Award the same year. Palladini also served as Chair of the York-Finch General Hospital Foundation, and was a Director of the York University Scholarship Alliance Board.


He was elected in the riding of York Centre in the provincial election of 1995, defeating Liberal Mario Ferri by more than 8,000 votes (the riding had previously been held by high-profile Liberal Greg Sorbara).[2] On June 26, 1995, he was named Minister of Transportation.[3] Following a cabinet shuffle on October 10, 1997, he was named Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.[4]

Palladini was re-elected in the provincial election of 1999, defeating Liberal Tony Genco by about 7,500 votes in the redistributed riding of Vaughan—King—Aurora.[5] After the election, his portfolio was renamed "Economic Development and Trade".

In office, Palladini presented himself as a populist while presenting legislation which reduced government services. He was often accused of anti-intellectualism. When he cut back on snowplowing budgets for provincial highways, he suggested that stranded drivers could simply use their cell phones to call for help.[6]

Cabinet posts[edit]

Ontario provincial government of Mike Harris
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Bill Saunderson Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism
Bob Runciman
Gilles Pouliot Minister of Transportation
Tony Clement

Resignation and death[edit]

Palladini resigned from cabinet on February 7, 2001, citing personal difficulties.[7] One month later, he unexpectedly died of a heart attack on a golf course while vacationing in Mexico.[8][9]


His son Franco and family continued to operate his car dealership for several years until bankruptcy in 2009.[10] There is a community centre named Al Palladini Community Centre in Woodbridge, in his honour.

Ontario's Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, gives Al Palladini credit for launching his political career through his effort on his 1999 re-election campaign.[11]


  1. ^ Wells, Jennifer (2009-06-06). "Auto Industry in Crisis". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  2. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on 2014-05-03. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  3. ^ "Mike Harris' cabinet". The Spectator. Hamilton, Ont. June 27, 1995. p. A7.
  4. ^ Rusk, James; Mackie, Richard (October 10, 1997). "Premier to shuffle cabinet Ministers to move out of hot portfolios: Snobelen from Education, Wilson from Health". The Globe and Mail. p. A1.
  5. ^ "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 3, 1999. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  6. ^ Ibbitson, John (March 8, 2001). "He was no politician, but he got things done". The Globe and Mail. p. A1.
  7. ^ "Flaherty to be new Ontario finance chief". Sudbury Star. February 8, 2001. p. A5.
  8. ^ "Palladini dies while on holiday". theglobeandmail.com. March 8, 2001.
  9. ^ Blackwell, Tom (March 8, 2001). "Palladini's death shocks, saddens colleagues". Sudbury Star. p. A1.
  10. ^ "End of the road". theglobeandmail.com. June 5, 2009.
  11. ^ Kopun, Francine (June 7, 2018). "King-Vaughan picks PC candidate Stephen Lecce" – via Toronto Star.

External links[edit]