CANADA VOTES: Who's Running for MP in Mississauga?
Mississauga is Canada’s sixth-largest city, located in the epicentre of the Greater Toronto Area. It is the quintessential representative of the vote-rich 905 region, which political parties have coveted for decades during election time. In the 2019 election campaign, that sentiment is no different.
Liberal leader (and current prime minister) Justin Trudeau has stopped by Mississauga several times in the lead-up to the election, most recently at UTM to unveil the Liberal platform. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was in town to announce his party's plan to give transit riders a 15 per cent tax credit, while NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was in neighbouring Brampton promising to help build a third hospital.
Since 2015, Mississauga has six ridings within the city boundaries; Malton was previously part of a Brampton riding. Four years ago, the Liberals swept all six ridings as the Trudeau Liberal landslide swept across Ontario. In 2011, the collapse of the Liberal vote and rise of Jack Layton's NDP allowed the Conservatives to win all Mississauga's ridings.
It's, therefore, safe to say that Mississauga voters usually choose the winning side when it comes to election time. And since Trudeau, Scheer or even Singh are actually not on the ballot in this city, it's time to know who your local candidates are.
Here are the candidates running for MP in Mississauga, as confirmed by Elections Canada as of October 2.
Mississauga CentreFrom left to right: Omar Alghabra, Milad Mikael, Sarah Walji and Hugo Reinoso
Since 2015, this riding has been represented by Liberal Omar Alghabra. Alghabra previously served as an MP from 2006 until 2008, when he lost his seat to the Conservatives. Alghabra was reelected to Parliament in 2015 for the then-new riding and has been serving as a Parliamentary Secretary for the Foreign Affairs Minister working on consular affairs.
The other candidates running are small businessman Milad Mikael for the Conservatives, registered nurse Sarah Walji for the NDP, IT professional and former Ward 4 council candidate Hugo Reinoso for the Green Party and David Micalef for the People's Party of Canada. Greg Vezina, the leader of the None of the Above Party, is running as an Independent.
Mississauga East-CooksvilleFrom left to right: Peter Fonseca, Wladyslaw Lizon, Tom Takacs and Syed Rizvi
Liberal MP Peter Fonseca is seeking a second term in office. Prior to entering federal politics, Fonseca was a marathon runner who competed in the 1996 Olympics and a former provincial MPP and cabinet minister under Dalton McGuinty. He lost his first federal race in 2011 by 676 votes to Conservative Wladyslaw Lizon when the previous MP retired.
Fonseca defeated Lizon in a rematch in 2015, and Lizon is once again representing the Tories for the rubber match, while Tom Takacs (the NDP's 2018 provincial candidate) is trying his hand this time for federal office. Other candidates include Maha Rasheed of the Green Party, Syed Rizvi of the PPC and Anna Di Carlo of the Marxist Leninist Party.
From left to right: Iqra Khalid, Hani Tawfilis, Salman Tariq and Remo Boscarino-Gaetano
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid defeated Conservative MP Bob Dechert in 2015 for this then newly-redistributed riding. During her time in the last Parliament, Khalid made national headlines for introducing a private members motion to condemn Islamophobia (as well as other forms of religious discrimination), but it ended up becoming a very polarizing issue.
Running for the Tories this time is pharmacist Hani Tawfilis, while the NDP candidate is consultant Salman Tariq. Other candidates running in Erin Mills include Remo Boscarino-Gaetano of the Green Party and Hazar Alsabagh for the People's Party.
From left to right: Sven Spengemann, Stella Ambler, Adam Laughton and Cynthia Trentelman
Former United Nations worker Sven Spengemann won this riding from the Conservatives in 2015. Previously, the seat was held by the Liberals' Paul Szabo from 1993 to 2011. Spengemann wrestled the seat from then Conservative MP Stella Ambler, who had won it from Szabo in the 2011 election.
This time, Ambler is back representing the Conservatives, while Adam Laughton is the NDP candidate. Others contesting this riding include Cynthia Trentelman for the Greens, Eugen Vizitiu for the PPC and Carlton Darby for the United Party of Canada.
From left to right: Navdeep Bains, Tom Varughese, Nikki Clarke and Christina Porter
Liberal MP Navdeep Bains is perhaps the most high profile candidate in Mississauga for his party, having previously been an MP from 2004 until 2011 when he lost his reelection bid in the old Mississauga Brampton South riding. Bains was reelected to the new Malton riding in 2015 and has served as Trudeau's Minister of Science, Innovation and Economic Development.
The other candidates running against Bains are Conservative Tom Varughese, NDP candidate Nikki Clarke (who previously ran in the 2018 provincial election), Christina Porter from the Green Party, Tahir Gora from the PPC, Frank Chilelli from the Marxist Leninist Party and Prudence Buchanan of the United Party of Canada.
From left to right: Gagan Sikand, Ghada Melek, Samir Girguis and Chris Hill
Liberal MP Gagan Sikand wrestled this seat from the Conservatives in the 2015 election; this was also the former riding of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie when she was an MP. Sikand's main opponent this time is Conservative Ghada Melek, who has faced some controversy over past statements endorsing conversion therapy for members of the LGBTQ community.
The other candidates running are Samir Girguis for the New Democrats, Chris Hill for the Green Party, Thomas McIver for the People's Party and Natalie Spizzirri for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.
In addition, here are a few interesting tidbits about the election in other parts of Canada:
Markham Stouffville has received a lot of attention because former Liberal cabinet minister Jane Philpott (who was kicked out of the party during the SNC Lavalin affair) is running as an Independent. What is also interesting is the People's Party candidate in this riding is named Jeremy Lin, who is definitely not the famous basketball player who shares the same name.
Speaking of SNC Lavalin, Philpott's friend and former Liberal cabinet colleague Jody Wilson-Raybould (the woman at the centre of the scandal) is also running for reelection as an Independent in Vancouver Granville.
In typical Rhino Party fashion, this political satire party's candidate in the Quebec riding of Beauce, where People's Party leader Maxime Bernier is seeking personal reelection….is also named Maxime Bernier.
Former Liberal MPP Han Dong is running in Don Valley North, after one of the most bizarre episodes in Candian politics to unfold in recent years. Suffice it to say, it sounds more like a script for a soap opera than a politics related story. Another former Liberal MPP, David Caplan, was previously seeking the nomination before he tragically died in a fire at his Toronto home.
Peter Fonseca is not the only former Olympian contesting this federal election. Former Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden is running for the Liberals in Milton.
While the choices are many for voters in Mississauga, the overall perception is that the ridings in Canada's sixth-largest city are primarily being contested between Conservatives and Liberals.
Given how the entire city usually swings in one direction at election time, usually for the winning side, how Mississauga votes could be considered a barometer for how the election results for the whole country turn out.
Canadians go to the polls on October 21.
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