Hamilton councillor Bernie Morelli dead at 70

File image of Bernie Morelli

(Updated) The second longest serving member of Hamilton city council has died after a serious illness.

Ward three councillor Bernie Morelli died last night at home at the age of 70.

He was recently in hospital and has been fighting health problems since his surgery to remove a kidney last year.

Morelli was born in east Hamilton where he was first elected to Hamilton city council in 1991 and served for more than 22 years. He was a member of the police services board from 1994 to 1997, then served as chair between 2000 and 2010. He was voted chair again last October.

In a statement, police Chief Glenn De Caire said “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Morelli family, the Hamilton Police Services Board and to Mayor Bratina and the family of councillors who have had the privilege of serving the citizens with Mr Morelli as a colleague.”

Video: De Caire’s condolences

Morelli worked at Dofasco for 25 years, including as a senior manager of market and product development. He had a masters degree in business administration and spent 18 years lecturing in business management at McMaster University. Before municipal politics he served a term as a Catholic school board trustee.

As tributes come in, CHCH News will be talking to members of council, the mayor and others who worked with him. Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina will join Bob Cowan at approximately 9:20 am.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. He is survived by his daughter Christina, his two sons Rick and Mark, along with other family.

Video (top): Phil Perkins shares some remembrances from viewers


  1. My thoughts and prayers, when my children José, Melody and Melissa Campos, were studying at Saint Anne School, they all received The Bernie Morelli Award, for their services and voluntarism in the community, what a privilege to have met him. Heaven has a new angel, and Mr. Bernie Morelli will continue to guide us! My sincere condolences to the family!

  2. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Morelli when he was representing a fellow Councillor at a function involving a park. He was well liked, respected and he will be missed.

  3. When I lived in the east part of downtown, Bernie was there for the neighborhood as we fought a battle to clean our area of hookers and drug dealers. He was a smart compassionate man who will be missed. Condolences to his family.

  4. It is a very sad day for Hamilton and all those that were blessed with knowing or meeting
    Bernie. I will miss him dearly and all his entertaining stories. My thoughts and prayers go out to Bernies multitude of friends and family. So very sad. RIP my friend.

  5. Sending my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Bernie Morelli. I had the privilege of meeting Bernie many times. As I worked at Sackville Seniors’ Centre for a few years and he quite often was one of the dignitaries attending special functions there. He always came and said hello to the staff. He was a very nice man who will sadly be missed by many. May you R.I.P. Bernie

  6. Thank you sir for your long and productive position as Alderman for ward 3. You always listened to your people in your ward and those that spoke at City Hall on behalf of the people of Hamilton and community. May God give you rest now until He comes again.

  7. It is with our families deepest sympathy to hear of your passing, you were a great man and when push came to shove you got things done. You cared for all the people in your ward and were a great help and blessing to all. You will be greatly missed as you are one person in politics that the people could actually trust which meant a lot to so many. Thank you for all your help with my son after he got hit by a car, your presence and help is one of the main things that got our family through.
    May you RIP sir with the rest of the angels in heaven, God really did take one of the best. xoxoxo

  8. Bernie we will never forget you. You will be missed always. You will be forever in our hearts. Your friends always Joe and Maria Italiano. Rest in peace dear friend.

  9. Wow. what a shame. Bernie Morelli was a terrific man. It’s sad to lose such a positive and helpful man. RIP Bernie. My thoughts go out to his co-workers, friends and family.

  10. Bernie was the councillor for ward 3 and I lived down here for 25 years he did so much for the area and helped me out in many different ways he was a great friend to many and had a heart of gold you will be deaply missed by many r.i.p

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