Here’s What You Need to Know About Brampton’s Election

Published October 3, 2018 at 4:51 am

The municipal election campaign in Brampton is proving to be packed with more intrigue and excitement than people expected.

The municipal election campaign in Brampton is proving to be packed with more intrigue and excitement than people expected. On the heels of several heated mayoral debates, plus the possible involvement of Doug Ford operatives helping Linda Jeffrey, a former Liberal MPP, win reelection, here are the latest developments in the Brampton elections.

Feisty Rose Theatre debate now available for viewing

The aforementioned debate was, as of now, the most heated exchange between frontrunners Jeffrey and Patrick Brown for the mayor’s chair.

Speaking of more opportunities to hear from Brampton mayoral candidates…

Another mayoral debate is happening

The Brampton Real Estate Board (BREB) has what is being referred to as “a meet and greet” with mayoral candidates this Thursday, October 4, at the BREB offices at 60 Gillingham Drive, Suite 401 near Main Street and Bovaird Drive. It will be streamed live on BREB’s Facebook page.

One of the candidates, Wesley Jackson, has already confirmed his attendance.

More endorsements

Wards 7 and 8 regional council candidate Bruce Marshall is touting an important endorsement…from the outgoing regional councillor, Gael Miles.

Marshall, a radio host on CHUM 104.5, is a 20-year veteran firefighter who is running against incumbent city councillor Pat Fortini, Cody Vatcher and New Brampton advocacy group member Ajay Tandon.

Coun. Miles’ endorsement is a bit intriguing since her colleague Fortini is running in her place, but considering that Miles is chairing Patrick Brown’s committee on public safety matters it’s no surprise she endorsed someone (Marshall) who is seen as more aligned with Brown than with Jeffrey.

Meanwhile, another outgoing regional councillor, Elaine Moore, made her views very clear after the Rose Theatre debate with regards to her support in the Brampton mayoral election.

“I think the mayor’s comments were misleading and unhelpful (with regards to council’s dysfunction), and she wonders why seven of us voted against her,” said Moore, adding that she is endorsing Patrick Brown.

Finally, at Regional Coun. Martin Medeiros’ recent campaign event, a number of high profile political attendees who stopped by to show Medeiros support included Jeffrey and several others, as well as a very familiar face in Brampton politics.

Medeiros (centre) is flanked by Jeffrey on his right and former mayor Susan Fennell on his left. It just seems like delicious irony to see the immediate past mayor in the same spot with the current mayor that defeated her four years ago.

Fennell ended up in a disappointing third place finish in 2014 as Jeffrey won the mayoralty with 50 per cent of the vote, after years of being embroiled in spending scandals.

She also didn’t get along with the last council she presided over, which included then regional councillor John Sanderson, who is now running for his old job against Medeiros.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” sounds like a saying that applies here.

Brown promises free transit for seniors 65 and over

The former PC leader recently announced he wanted to bring free transit for Brampton seniors at this press conference.

“As mayor, I will bring free transit fares for seniors, in order to make life easier for them so they can use public transit much more easily in Brampton and get to their appointments on time,” Brown said, adding it was a way to also deal with traffic gridlock by getting more people using transit.

Brown is modelling this idea after after what was implemented in Hamilton, which pegged the minimum age of a senior to get free transit at 75. Brown’s plan will allow seniors age 65 and up to use the service. “If we set a goal rather than wait for studies, we can have a plan in place right away to bring forward that affordable city as outlined in the Vision 2040 plan,” Brown continued.

Initial assessments have pegged the cost of Brown’s plan at $500,000, which he says can be offset by optimizing advertising opportunities on shelters and buses.

What are local council candidates promising?

I thought it would be informative to take a look at what candidates for either city or regional council are promising beyond the standard pablum or talking points about “cutting red tape,” “standing up for seniors / youth,” or “building transit for the 21st century”.

  • Jermaine Chambers, running for Wards 2 & 6 city council, has two points on his platform about developments in Churchville and Huttonville. Specifically, protecting the Heritage District designation for Churchville while bringing in a recreation facility, and explore connecting Huttonville to the city’s sewer system.

  • Ryan Rennie, running for Wards 3 & 4 city council, is proposing to record public meetings in an innovative way that is based on procedures done in Lakewood, Colorado.

  • Charmaine Williams, running for Wards 7 & 8 city council, has a petition on her website calling for a gun amnesty and gun buyback program in Brampton, calling on Mayor Jeffrey and council to “act now in order to make our streets safe”.

  • Paul Vicente, candidate for Wards 1 & 5 regional councillor, has apparently taken a page from John Sprovieri’s playbook, pledging to fight to lower auto insurance rates and end postal code discrimination. It’s highly doubtful that is an area for municipal government, and it would be interesting to see how effective Vicente could be if he is elected as a councillor to push for that change.

  • The same promise was made by Wards 7 & 8 regional councillor candidate Ajay Tandon, who said he wants to work on involving insurance professionals and put forward a plan reduce rates gradually and bring them in line with provincial averages.

  • Gurpreet Bains, running for regional councillor in Wards 2 & 6, is promising to bring in an independent auditor general to regular monitor city spending, with the goal of allowing Brampton residents to know how their property taxes are being spent.

Advance polls recently opened, and election day in Brampton is October 22.

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