Joanne Chianello

City affairs analyst

Joanne Chianello is an award-winning journalist and CBC Ottawa's city affairs analyst. You can email her at or tweet her at @jchianello.

Latest from Joanne Chianello


Why a modest change to the police force's budget isn't that risky

Anyone listening to Mayor Jim Watson's comments might think the decision by the Ottawa Police Service Board to slightly reduce the force's 2022 budget might result in police staff layoffs. But that's not true, and in fact, the force is set to grow.

Fare-free transit doesn't give council a pass on LRT failings

A month of free transit offers commuters a chance to see whether or not the transit network can be relied upon. But that's about all it will do.

Mayor sought briefing with minister before Ontario called public LRT inquiry

As the Ontario government pondered calling a public inquiry into Ottawa's light rail system, Mayor Jim Watson sent a five-page letter to the transportation minister extolling the city's "due diligence work" on the Confederation Line and asking to discuss what the city had already done to investigate.

'Things are not going well': City knew of reliability issues before accepting LRT system

A series of email exchanges between former OC Transpo boss John Manconi and the former CEO of the Ottawa LRT builder show many of the issues that plagued the Confederation Line after its launch were fully known to the city before it accepted the light rail system.

LRT service to add 8th train on Thursday

An eighth train is expected to be added to the Confederation Line service on Thursday as the LRT inches its way back to an 11-train service with replacement buses sent back to their previous bus routes, the transit commission heard Wednesday morning.

Province could call for judicial inquiry into Ottawa's LRT

Just hours after council voted against calling for a judicial inquiry into the Confederation Line, the provincial cabinet will look into calling one itself.

Former school board trustee Cathy Curry selected as Kanata North councillor

Former school board trustee Cathy Curry is the new councillor for Kanata North. In a rarely used process, council selected the new representative for the west-end ward with more than half of the votes in the first round.

No judicial inquiry into LRT, city council decides

Ottawa city council has voted against calling for a judicial inquiry to investigate the process that led to the launch of the Confederation Line and any potential misconduct by members of council, and other matters connected with "good government."

The 'vitriolic' argument of a judicial inquiry into Ottawa LRT extends beyond council

The debate about whether to have a judicial inquiry returns to Ottawa city council Wednesday as a private disagreement between a former mayor and one of the city’s key LRT consultants continues away from the virtual council table.

City councillor Rick Chiarelli starts collecting his salary again this week

The 450-day salary suspension imposed on Coun. Rick Chiarelli has ended. The punishment was the result of two damning integrity commissioner reports that found he committed “incomprehensible incidents of harassment.”