ONTARIO VOTES: Who's Running for MPP in Mississauga?
After months of waiting, the Ontario provincial election campaign has finally begun.
Since May 9, the various political party leaders from the Liberals, PCs, NDP and Greens, as well as their local candidates, have fanned out across the province and into your neighbourhoods asking for your vote on June 7.
It’s been said that the road to power at Queen's Park runs through the 905. Former premiers Mike Harris, Dalton McGuinty, and current incumbent Kathleen Wynne all formed their majority governments with seats in Mississauga and Brampton, as well as neighbouring Halton, York and Durham regions.
For the 2018 election, the provincial ridings will mirror the current federal ones as seen in the map below. As before, there will be six ridings for Mississauga.
To familiarize yourself with the candidates in your riding, here is a brief primer on who is running for which party in your local riding:
This is a new riding with no incumbent MPP. The Liberals are running local businesswoman and entrepreneur Bobbie Daid as their candidate, while the PCs are fielding nurse and party activist Natalia Kusendova. Other candidates include the NDP's Laura Kaminker and Libertarian Farouk Giga, and the Greens’ Noah Gould.
It was in this riding where former PC leadership contender Tanya Granic Allen had initially won the right to run as MPP before being removed mere days before the campaign started. Granic Allen had a strong social conservative following in her leadership bid and subsequent MPP nomination contest, and it remains to be seen if those elements feel resentment towards the PC party for dumping their champion.
Liberal MPP Dipika Damerla, the current Seniors Affairs minister, looks to extend her time in office in the riding she represented since 2011, with some minor boundary adjustments. She will be running against the Tories' Kaleed Rasheed, the Green Party's Basia Krzyzanowski, the NDP’s Tom Takacs, Libertarian Mark Donaldson, and the None of The Above Party's Len Little.
Another Mississauga riding without an incumbent, this riding used to be called Mississauga-Erindale and was held by Liberal MPP Harinder Takhar. Takhar is retiring, and the governing party is hoping to hang onto it by running telecommunications professional and party activist Imran Mian.
The PCs are running Sheref Sabawy, a former Liberal, while the other candidates include Farina Hassan of the NDP, Libby Yuill of the Green Party, NOTA's Grzegorz Nowacki, and Libertarian Pieter Liem.
If there is any riding within Canada's sixth largest city that the Tory message would resonate, it is in the riding once known as Mississauga South. But for the last decade, Liberal MPP and the province's Finance Minister Charles Sousa has had a lock on this riding, winning upwards of 50 per cent of the vote and above.
Ford needs ridings like Mississauga-Lakeshore to form government, and his party is running Ford Motors auditor Rudy Cuzzetto in the hopes of making him a "giant killer" by knocking off Sousa. The NDP candidate, Boris Rosolak, is back after running before in 2014, and also joining the field is Lloyd Jones of the Greens, Kenny Robinson of the NOTA and Libertarian Jay Ward.
Liberal MPP Amrit Mangat is seeking another term since her first win in 2007 in the former riding of Mississauga-Brampton South, running to represent this newly redistributed riding which includes Malton. Mangat is facing the NDP's Nikki Clarke, PC candidate Deepak Anand, the Greens' Eryn Sylvester, NOTA candidate Tristan Demian and Libertarian Michelle Ciupka.
However, a wild card and potential spoiler could be Independent candidate Caroline Roach, whose husband Clyde ran for the Tory nomination back in May which was won by Anand. Roach's website states the new riding had historically voted Liberal on the Mississauga Side and NDP on the Malton side for the provincial elections, leaving voters in the riding with mixed party related sentiments or loyalties.
Could Roach siphon enough votes that could have gone Tory to give another candidate a shot at coming up the middle? That assessment should become more clear once the campaign progresses further along.
Last but not least, the riding represented since 2003 by Liberal MPP Bob Delaney would be a nice cherry on top for the Ontario PCs if they could finally oust the longtime incumbent.
Despite his various gaffes, Delaney has won re-election with over 50 per cent previous elections. The Tories are once again running Nina Tangri, who has run in this riding's various incarnations both federally and provincially dating back to 1997.
The NDP candidate is labour activist Jacqueline Gujarati, the Greens are running Abhijeet Manay, Richard Levesque is running for the Libertarians, and NOTA party leader Greg Vezina is running here as well.
Ontarians go to the polls on June 7.
Headshots courtesy of candidates’ social media accounts and party websites
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