Sandra Pupatello

Sandra Pupatello, nee Pizzolitto, was born on Oct. 6 1962 in Windsor, Ontario. She was the longest serving Minister of Economic Development and Trade in Ontario’s Liberal Provincial Government.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Windsor, and an Institute of Corporate Director certificate from the University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management.

Involved in politics since a very young age, Sandra took an active role in the community, and was named “Italian of the Year” for Windsor-Essex County in 1996. She received the Sandra PupatelloCharlie Clark Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Windsor in 2001 and was named “Windsor Woman of the Year” in 2003. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Windsor.

Pupatello was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the 1995 provincial election in Windsor-Sandwich, and re-elected for a second term in 1999. The Liberal Party won a majority government in the 2003 provincial election, and Pupatello was again re-elected in Windsor West with a significant majority, and was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Community and Social Services with responsibility for Women’s Issues. For a short period of time (2005) she was Ontario Minister of Education, and in 2006 she was reassigned as Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development & Trade. Serving as Ontario’s Chief Investment Officer from 2006–2011, her Ministry became ranked the number one agency in North America for economic development, and the top-ranking jurisdiction for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in North America.

In 2012 Pupatello left her position to seek the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party, but after losing the election went to work for the private sector. From 2012-2014 Pupatello was on the Board of Directors of Hydro One, serving also as Chair, as well as a Strategic advisor for a Global Markets & Public Sector PwC Canada, contracted through Canadian International Avenues (2012-2017). In May 2013, Pupatello was named CEO of the municipally owned Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation but resigned in 2015. In 2019 Sandra returned to politics and secured her candidacy as a Federal Liberal party candidate in West Windsor but lost after a close race.

Presently, Pupatello is president of Canadian International Avenues Ltd.

She is married to Jim Bennet an author, lawyer and former politician.

CBC News. “Sandra Pupatello, former Liberal leadership contender, not ruling out another run”. 8 June 2018. Web Accessed 13 July 2020.

CBC News. “Sandra Pupatello Secures Liberal Candidacy For Windsor West”.  4 September 2019. Web Accessed 13 July 2020.

Cross, Brian and Waddell, Dave “Masse hangs on in Windsor West after hard-fought battle with Pupatello“. Windsor Star. 22 October 2019. Web Accessed 13 July 2020.

Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Sandra Pupatello.