Rosario Marchese (born 1952 in Calabria, Italy) is a politician in Ontario, Canada. He is currently a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, representing the downtown Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina for the New Democratic Party of Ontario.
Marchese arrived in Canada with his family at age nine. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, French and Philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1978, and later received a Bachelor of Education degree. Before entering public life, he taught English and French language in Toronto and Mississauga. He is also fluent in Italian.
He served on the Toronto school board from 1982 to 1990, representing Wards 4 and 5 at different times. During this period, he distinguished himself as an advocate of lingual and racial rights, worked to establish international language programs, alternative schools and school childcare, and helped to end the practice of streaming students into narrow learning programs. As well, he served as Vice-President of the National Congress of Italian Canadians (Toronto), Toronto Public Library Board trustee, and Multilingual Literacy Centre Chair.
Marchese was first elected to the Ontario parliament in the provincial election of 1990, defeating incumbent Liberal Bob Wong by about 1500 votes in the riding of Fort York. The NDP won an unexpected majority government in this election, and Marchese was appointed as the province's Minister of Culture and Communications on October 1, 1990. He presided over a significant increase in funding to the Ontario Arts Council and the provincial film industry, but was dropped from cabinet on July 31, 1991.
The NDP were defeated in the 1995 election, although Marchese actually managed to increase his margin of victory against Wong, who once again ran for the Liberals. In opposition, he managed to distinguish himself as one of the most spirited debaters in the reduced NDP caucus. He again increased his margin of victory in 1999 provincial election.
Some suspected that Marchese would have difficulty being re-elected against Liberal Nellie Pedro in the 2003 election, though as it happened he was re-elected by more than 6,000 votes. He is currently the NDP critic for Education, Training, Colleges and Universities, Culture, Tourism and Recreation, Multiculturalism, Citizenship and Immigration, and Disabilities.