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Vincenzo Arciresi

Vincenzo Arciresi Quebec politician

Quebec politician
Vincenzo Arciresi
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Quebec politician
Is Politician
From Canada
Type Politics
Gender male
The details

Biography

Vincenzo (Vincent) Arciresi is a politician and administrator in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He chaired the Commission scolaire Jérôme-Le Royer from 1990 until its dissolution in 1998 and has chaired the successor Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île since its creation. He has also sought election to the Canadian House of Commons.

Early life and career

Arciresi was born in Italy and moved to Canada in 1966. Before entering public life, he owned a construction company and was founding president of the Federation of Sicilian Associations in Canada.

Federal politics

Arciresi won the Liberal Party of Canada nomination for Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies in the buildup to the 1988 Canadian federal election, defeating Michael Stante; there were two other candidates, both of whom withdrew prior to the vote. The nomination contest attracted national attention after several thousand people joined the Liberals to participate in the vote, though in the event only 1,500 party members actually turned up. In his acceptance speech, Arciresi highlighted his support for social security, aid to seniors, and multiculturalism, while opposing a proposed free trade agreement with the United States of America. He was not a prominent public figure before winning the nomination, and critics believed his lack of fluency in either French or English would hurt his candidacy.

Political experts originally considered Arciresi to be the frontrunner for the general election, but he ultimately fell behind Progressive Conservative star candidate Jean Corbeil. On election day, Corbeil was elected by a margin of almost 20 per cent.

Arciresi later became a prominent local supporter of Alfonso Gagliano, who served as the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for a neighbouring riding from 1984 to 2002.

School commissioner

Arciresi was first elected to the Commission scolaire Jérôme-Le Royer in 1987 and was re-elected in 1990 and 1994. He was chosen as chair of the commission in December 1990 and held the position until Jérôme-Le Royer's dissolution in 1998.

The Jérôme-Le Royer board was divided by factionalism in the early 1990s. Some francophone parents and commissioners complained that the board was dominated by an Italian-Canadian voting bloc that discriminated against francophone students. Arciresi responded that the accusation was false, and added, "It's been impossible to govern the commission with all the racists we have there." He welcomed a June 1991 decision by provincial education minister Michel Pagé to investigate charges of institutional bias and favouritism. The subsequent investigation found no evidence supporting the charges, though it recommended that commissioners be prohibited from serving concurrently as city councillors to prevent the potential for a conflict-of-interest.

In 1993, new education minister Lucienne Robillard accepted the report of an eleven-month investigation into problems at Jérôme-Le Royer and asked the provincial justice department to investigate allegations of mismanagement. She said that the investigation had focused on three key issues: oversight of education regulations, procedures for board member expenses, and suggestions that Arciresi was in a conflict-of-interest for serving on the executive of a construction firm that had initiated a lawsuit against the commission. Robillard also wrote Arciresi a letter requiring him "to review immediately the administrative procedures, to institute more rigorous handling of public funds, in regards to commissioners' expenses." Arciresi responded that he was the victim of a racist smear campaign initiated by some parents and commissioners, charging that some commissioners did not want to see an allophone serving as chair. He added that the board had already made the improvements required by Robillard, requested that she make her report public, and said that he was not in a conflict-of-interest.

Jérôme-Le Royer was restructured as the Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île in 1998. Arciresi was elected to the new board in the 1998 election and was re-elected in 2003 and 2007. He has served as chair of the board since its formation.

City councillor

Arciresi was elected to the Saint-Leonard city council in 1990 as a member of Frank Zampino's Parti municipal. He was re-elected without opposition in 1994 and 1998.

Saint-Leonard was amalgamated into the City of Montreal in 2001. Arciresi ran for a seat on the Montreal city council in that year's municipal election as a Vision Montreal candidate and was defeated, finishing fourth in a three-member ward.

Electoral record

Federal and municipal elections
2001 Montreal municipal election results: Councillor, Saint-Léonard (three members elected)
1998 Saint-Leonard municipal election results: Councillor, Ward Eight
1994 Saint-Leonard municipal election results: Councillor, Ward Eight
1990 Saint-Leonard municipal election results: Councillor, Ward Eight


Canadian federal election, 1988: Honoré-Mercier
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Jean Corbeil 27,451 51.54 $43,927
Liberal Vincent Arciresi 17,421 32.71 $39,082
New Democratic Vincent Marchione 6,687 12.56 $11,055
Green Mario Paul 1,217 2.29 $0
     N/A (Marxist-Leninist) Catherine Commandeur 483 0.91 $130
Total valid votes 53,259 100.00
Total rejected ballots 1,338
Turnout 54,597 74.02
Electors on the lists 73,763
Source: Report of the Chief Electoral Officer, Thirty-fourth General Election, 1988.
School commission elections
2007 Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île election: Trustee, District Eight
2003 Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île election: Trustee, District Eight
1998 Commission scolaire de la Pointe-de-l'Île election: Trustee, District Eight
1994 Commission scolaire Jérôme-Le Royer election: Trustee, District Eight
1990 Commission scolaire Jérôme-Le Royer election: Trustee, District Eleven
1987 Commission scolaire Jérôme-Le Royer election: Trustee, District Eight

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