Joseph Cordiano was formerly a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and a cabinet minister in the government of Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Joe was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Italian immigrants. He was educated at the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo in Ohio, graduating from the latter with a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Before entering political life, he was the owner and General Manager of Cash Rolls of Canada.
Cordiano was first elected to the Ontario legislature in the provincial election of 1985,
The Liberals were upset by the NDP in the provincial election of 1990 and Cordiano faced a difficult challenge from NDP candidate Shalom Schachter, winning by 11786 votes to 10179. He subsequently emerged as a prominent voice for the provincial Liberal Party within Toronto. The provincial election of 1995 saw Cordiano win by a comfortable margin - the provincial swing was to the Progressive Conservative Party, but the PCs did not have enough support in Lawrence to seriously compete for the riding.
Cordiano was named as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in 1996 and held this position until 1997.
In 1999 Cordiano won an easy victory in the election: the Progressive Conservatives won the general election and Joe remained on the opposition benches. In 2000, he was appointed opposition critic for financial institutions.
The Liberals won the provincial election of 2003, and Cordiano won another easy victory in York Southeston. On October 23, 2003, Cordiano was named Minister for Economic Development and Trade.