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


'Is this Ottawa?' Confederation Line launches capital into big-city status

It's not every day that people are happy to line up for public transit, but Saturday wasn't just any day. It was the day the Confederation Line opened, putting to rest any lingering doubts about whether Ottawa is a big city.

Chiarelli allegations fuel call for sensitivity training

City council's first-ever liaison on women's issues is asking her council colleagues to sign up for training on gender issues, just as news broke of allegations one councillor asked inappropriate questions in a job interview.

Councillor asked job applicant about going braless, woman alleges

A woman has filed a formal complaint with Ottawa's integrity commissioner alleging a city councillor asked her inappropriate questions of a sexual nature during a job interview, including whether she was comfortable not wearing a bra to work events.

Tierney says sorry for 'mistake' involving election rival

Coun. Tim Tierney has apologized in court for making a "mistake" when he offered to make a charitable donation in exchange for his sole opponent dropping out of last fall's municipal campaign.

City withholding $59M from final LRT payment

The City of Ottawa is holding back $59 million from its final payment to Confederation Line builder Rideau Transit Group (RTG) to cover costs related to the LRT's 456-day delay.

City doesn't know what caused 10-hour LRT shutdown on Wednesday

The city does not know what caused three radio transmitters to turn off in the early hours Wednesday morning, leading to a 10-hour shutdown of the western half of Ottawa's new LRT system.

Radio failure shuts down LRT for hours

Just five days after the city took control of the $2.1-billion LRT system — and a little more than a week before it's supposed to be open to the public — more than half of the Confederation Line was shut down for hours on Wednesday.

Did the city move the goalposts for accepting LRT?

The Confederation Line has been an exciting, complicated, project. Given the political pressure to get it rolling, is it possible the city rushed it to the finish line?

LRT line to open Sept. 14

It may have arrived 456 days late, but there's finally light at the end of the tunnel for people who've been waiting to ride Ottawa's new Confederation Line.

'Like a CF-18 fighter jet': LRT noise disturbing condo dwellers

The city promised 'quieter neighbourhoods' with the arrival of the electric-powered Confederation Line. But some residents of the Mechanicsville neighbourhood say the noise from the light rail trains is forcing them indoors and keeping them up at night.

Mayor continues to defend process that saw SNC-Lavalin win $1.6B LRT bid

Mayor Jim Watson continues to defend the bidding process that saw SNC-Lavalin win the lucrative contract to extend the Trillium Line, even after the city admitted the troubled Montreal company's bid failed to meet the technical threshold — twice.

LRT handover to happen 'sometime this month,' mayor now says

Mayor Jim Watson refused to say definitively Wednesday afternoon whether the $2.1-billion Confederation Line will be delivered to the city on Aug. 16, the fourth official deadline for the massive transit project that's already more than a year late.

LRT unlikely to be finished by next Friday, sources say

A week before Rideau Transit Group is supposed to deliver the $2.1-billion Confederation Line to the city, it's not clear how the 12-day trial of the 12.5-kilometre LRT system is proceeding, or whether the project will be finished by the Aug. 16 deadline.

SNC-Lavalin failed to meet technical bar for LRT bid — twice

SNC-Lavalin failed to meet the minimum 70 per cent technical score in its bid to extend the Trillium Line not just once, but twice.

Was council lied to about process that awarded LRT2 contract to SNC-Lavalin?

The official confirmation that SNC-Lavalin won the $1.6-billion contract to extend the north-south LRT despite failing to reach the minimum technical bar will no doubt raise many questions in coming days. But key among them is whether council, the elected officials charged with approving the deal, were lied to.