Affordable housing, fair social services funding top the list for Mississauga’s new mayor


Published June 25, 2024 at 10:05 am

New mayor of Mississauga Carolyn Parrish sworn in.
Mississauga's newest mayor, Carolyn Parrish (right), takes the oath of office Monday night at the Living Arts Centre. (Photo: City of Mississauga)

Mississauga’s new mayor plans to take a no-nonsense approach in dealing with several key challenges facing the city, she told a Monday night gathering at the Living Arts Centre.

Mayor Carolyn Parrish’s message to the new-look city council and residents who attended the swearing-in ceremony inside Hammerson Hall was just as clear last night as it was two weeks ago in the moments after she was declared the winner of Mississauga’s mayoral byelection.

Finding ways to get more affordable housing built faster, pressuring the Ontario government for more equitable social services funding and working hard to strengthen Mississauga “as a multicultural and diverse city” are atop the list of priorities for the seventh mayor in Mississauga’s history (fifth since Mississauga officially became a city in 1974).

On June 10, Parrish fended off three sitting councillors in the race to succeed former mayor Bonnie Crombie, who left in January to lead the Ontario Liberal Party.

Parrish will sit as mayor for the remainder of council’s current term, which concludes in fall 2026.

“Leaders I have admired inspire, motivate, challenge and work hard. I intend to be one of those leaders, inspiring this council to make Mississauga an even better place in which to live,” Parrish said in her address to council and others in attendance following the oath of office ceremony.

The new mayor also pledged to refine the city’s budget process, committing to four community budget consultations each year.

A special council meeting was held Monday night at the Living Arts Centre to swear in Mayor Carolyn Parrish and Ward 5 Coun. Natalie Hart.

With the crisis in affordable housing availability taking a toll on people in municipalities across Ontario and Canada, Parrish said she will immediately chair a housing committee and find ways to streamline approvals for builders.

She also highlighted her intention to ensure Peel gets it fair share of funding for social services — a battle that has been waged since the early 1990s.

Speaking to supporters and reporters on election night following her victory, Parrish said among her immediate priorities are joining forces with Brampton and Caledon mayors to push senior levels of government for more social services dollars and working with developers and others to get much-needed affordable housing built faster in Mississauga.

New Ward 5 Coun. Natalie Hart was also sworn in on Monday night. Parrish resigned that council seat in March to run for mayor.

New Ward 5 Coun. Natalie Hart. (Photos: City of Mississauga)

Parrish, who’s served on Mississauga city council for 13 years in addition to the same amount of time as an MP in Ottawa, earned 43,494 votes in the mayoral byelection to defeat Mississauga councillors Alvin Tedjo (35,005), Dipika Damerla (27,119) and Stephen Dasko (22,408).

She topped a largest-ever field of 20 candidates for the city’s top seat.

Hart, meanwhile, earned 3,707 votes to come out on top among the 15 candidates vying for the ward seat.

On Wednesday morning, Parrish will officially call to order her first regular council meeting as mayor.

She’s Mississauga’s seventh mayor, following Robert Speck (1968-72), Chic Murray (1972-73), Martin Dobkin (1973-76), Ron Searle (1976-78), Hazel McCallion (1978-2014) and Bonnie Crombie (2014-24).

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