Here’s What’s Happening With Mississauga’s Municipal Election Right Now


Published September 11, 2018 at 10:00 pm


Now that it’s well into September, municipal election campaigning in Mississauga and across Ontario has begun in earnest.

With only a month and a half to go, here’s what is happening in terms of municipal election related news in Canada’s sixth largest city.

The State of the Mayor’s Race

Mayor Bonnie Crombie hosted her her official campaign launch on September 17 at the Portuguese Cultural Centre in Streetsville. Crombie is running for her second term.

But before her official launch, the mayor sat down with’s Chrissy Sharma to answer some questions about various issues and what she plans to do in her second term, should she get one.

Other mayoral candidates have started making their presence known. Recently there was a forum for Chinese Canadian candidates and it just so happens two of them are running for Crombie’s job: Andrew Lee and Tiger Meng Wu, an outgoing second year student at University of Toronto Mississauga, studying life sciences.

Andrew Lee (second from left) and Tiger Meng Wu (at far right) at candidates forum sponsored by the Peel Chinese Community Services Hub.

Whereas Lee’s platform focused on “leveraging” the wisdom of seniors and mentoring young people in the community, Tiger’s platform mentioned familiar staples that most candidates say about improving services and infrastructure, although he did bring up this idea of a “business zone”, exempting business from all municipal taxes for three years, with unspecified restrictions.

Meanwhile, another candidate, who ran before in 2014, sent out a rather contentious flyer that warrants deep examination. The issue with the flyer is not so much as his positions on “illegal border crossings” and “domestic terrorism”, but the fact that the candidate has a picture of himself wearing an Ontario PC party logo on his jacket.

There are technically no political parties for municipal elections in Ontario, although some are quite obvious in their political affiliations. However, during the provincial election Doug Ford himself backed away from this man’s endorsement, and a staffer for a PC MPP also confirmed that this candidate, nor any other candidate, had permission to use the party’s logo on any municipal election materials.

No Scheduled Mayoral Debates

Unlike Brampton, where there are two mayoral debates penciled in for September, Mississauga has no mayoral debates known to be hosted at this time, which is a far cry from the lively one in 2014 hosted by the Mississauga Arts Council with’s Khaled Iwamura moderating.. The lack of a debate is disappointing, as Brampton is hosting two mayoral debates within the last week of September.

A Beehive of Activity in Ward 1

A number of candidates are having the traditional “official kickoff” launch events for their campaigns, and the race to replace the late Jim Tovey certainly has kicked into high gear.

Former MP Brad Butt held his campaign kickoff at the Brogue Irish Pub on September 12 and Stephen Dasko had his kickoff event this past weekend. Other events include a fundraiser for candidate Terry Burke on September 16 at the Port House Social Bar at 7:30 pm (with a reasonable cover of $20), Natalie Hart holding her campaign kickoff canvass event on September 15, and Miles Roque recently held a coffee meet and greet at the Dixie Outlet Mall.

Two Ward 1 all candidates debate has been scheduled. The first is on September 19 at 7 pm at the Carmen Corbasson Community Centre, organized by three homeowners associations, and the other is on October 15 at 7 pm, organized by the Town of Port Credit Association to be held at Clarke Hall. The candidates will face a panel of ratepayers association representatives, followed by questions from the public.

An Increase in Cultural Community Representation

Ward 3 council candidate Robert Kielek has taken the curious step of setting up a Go Fund Me page to finance his candidacy, but so far he’s only raised $500 out of his $10,000 goal.

But Kielek isn’t the only Polish Canadian running in this election. With a Mississauga mayor of Polish background, and the recent election of Natalia Kusendova, the PC MPP for Mississauga Centre, the Polish community has seen a renewed interest in getting involved in politics and electing some of their own to political office. Besides Kielek, Leslie Zurek-Silvestri is running for Ward 7 councillor and Grant Gorchynski is running for council in Ward 4.

As for the Chinese Canadian community, they have seen more representation in the candidate slate as well. Besides the aforementioned Lee and Wu, Charles Chen is running for Peel public school trustee in Wards 2 and 8, Josephine Bau for council in Ward 4, Gary Gu for council in Ward 6, and Paul Liu running for Wards 1 and 7 public school trustee.

Hazel McCallion Endorses Someone

Speaking of Chen, although he is a first time candidate, he managed to get an extremely high profile endorsement…that of Hazel McCallion’s. The former Mississauga mayor threw her support to Chen during his campaign kickoff event at the Vic Johnson Community Centre’s (aptly named) Hazel McCallion Hall.

An earlier article looked into the importance of the former mayor’s endorsement or support for certain municipal candidates and how effective they are. While there have been rumblings of Hazel’s support for various choices, this is the clearest example of McCallion publicly offering her endorsement for any candidate in the municipal race.

Chen is running against incumbent trustee Brad MacDonald, former trustee Meredith Johnson and two other candidates. McCallion has little to lose by endorsing a candidate for the PDSB, since she never served in that governing body. It doesn’t hurt to have the longest serving mayor of Mississauga giving you her blessing, especially if this is your first time running for any political office.

A Ward 6 and 7 Alliance?

Ward 6 incumbent Ron Starr, running for reelection after an aborted attempt to run for Peel Regional chair, has been making rounds around the community as of late, as expected for someone seeking another term in office. But Starr sometimes also ventures outside of Ward 6, as he did here showing support for Ward 7 candidate Sam Jisri at Jisri’s campaign launch.

In return, Jisri came by Starr’s neck of the woods to offer his support. It seems a budding alliance of sorts is forming…

Ward 6 Coun. Ron Starr and Ward 7 candidate Sam Jisri (centre). Photo courtesy of Twitter / @RonStarr6

In other Ward 6 news, I’m seeing for the first time some businesses putting up posters for candidates, such as this poster for Gary Gu at the Macy’s Chinese restaurant.

Meanwhile, Joe Horneck has been getting support from federal MPs Omar Alghabra and Iqra Khalid. But Horneck, a banker, also snagged then endorsement of the Peel Region Labour Council, as well as NDP activist Michelle Bilek, which might be a first. At least he’s not relying on solely Liberal support.

Joe Horneck (right) with volunteers and federal MP Omar Alghabra (centre)

Other Campaign Notes 

Ward 10 Coun. Sue McFadden has taken to Twitter to inform people where she is specifically canvassing and door knocking in the ward. The councillor has also taken issue with other candidates running against her dropping election material that, in her view, were not ‘based on facts,’ asking residents to do their research and make informed decisions.

The candidates that seem to be most active in using social media in promoting their candidacies are Ward 1’s Miles Roque and Ward 4’s Safeeya Faruqui, especially on their Instagram accounts. Both of these candidates are regularly posting content such as Instagram stories, poll questions and pictures of them out in the community.

It may be a new way of political campaigning, but they should remember that nothing beats door to door canvassing, which thankfully Roque and Faruqui have been doing judging by some of their social media updates. Youth in Mississauga, and frankly everywhere in Canada, are notoriously apathetic when it comes to voting, let alone voting in municipal elections. will provide more election updates as the municipal election campaign in Mississauga rolls on.

Editor’s Note: Natalia Kusendova says she is not supporting Joe Horneck or any municipal candidates at this time. We regret the error.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising