Mayoral candidates will discuss poverty, hunger and other issues at debate in Mississauga

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Published May 1, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Food Banks Mississauga will host mayoral byelection debate.

Mississauga food bank officials who’ve been sounding the alarm for a few years over record-breaking numbers of residents having difficulty putting food on the table for their families want to hear what candidates vying to become the city’s next mayor will do to help address the “crisis.”

While details have yet to be finalized, Food Banks Mississauga, which oversees a network of more than 65 agencies across Canada’s seventh-largest city, will host a Mississauga mayoral byelection debate on May 23, from 7-9 p.m.

“Given the reality that affordability persists as one of the top issues affecting Canadians, including Mississauga residents, Food Banks Mississauga will be hosting a mayoral debate,” a FBM spokesperson said in an email to insauga.com, adding details such as where the event will be held have yet to be ironed out.

The charitable organization’s network of agencies and programs provided healthy food for nearly six million meals last year to people in Mississauga facing food insecurity. That number, officials note, is projected to jump to more than 10 million meals this year.

Earlier this week, food bank officials said a record 19,342 people used FBM agencies in March, the most-ever users in a single month. It marked a 20 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
By comparison, 16,068 people used FBM agencies in March 2023, that figure representing a 61 per cent increase over March 2022.
Meghan Nicholls, CEO of Food Banks Mississauga, said in a news release this week such “record-breaking demand” is showing itself from one month to the next.

FBM’s 2024 Spring Drive, which began on March 8, concluded Tuesday. The goal is to raise $800,000.

Twenty candidates are entered in the city’s mayoral byelection to succeed Bonnie Crombie and become the seventh mayor in Mississauga’s history. Crombie bolted town in January to lead the Ontario Liberal Party.

Nominations closed last Friday and a six-week byelection campaign is now underway before Mississauga voters elect a new mayor and Ward 5 councillor on June 10.

Mississauga has never seen so many candidates run for mayor.

Current city councillors Stephen Dasko (Ward 1), Alvin Tedjo (Ward 2) and Dipika Damerla (Ward 7) are running to succeed Crombie, as is former Ward 5 councillor Carolyn Parrish. Parrish resigned in March to enter the mayoral race.

Others entered in the race are:

  • Zulfiqar Ali
  • Diya Atassi
  • Brian Crombie
  • Jamie Dookie
  • Frank Fang
  • Xiaohua Gong
  • Winston Harding
  • Sara Iqbal
  • Syed Jaffery
  • Mohsin Khan
  • Mitchell MacEachern
  • Sinisa Mandrapa
  • Mike Matulewicz
  • David Shaw
  • George Tavares
  • Nathalie Xian Yi Yan

The winner among mayoral hopefuls will become the seventh mayor of Mississauga, 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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