POLL: 53% of survey respondents say Mississauga mayor should run for Ontario Liberal Party leadership

By

Published May 24, 2023 at 4:44 pm

It appears that residents are almost evenly divided regarding the political ambitions of Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, the thrice-elected municipal leader who recently announced her intention to run for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party

In a recent insauga.com survey, over 1,200 respondents were asked what they think of Crombie seeking higher office. Most were in favour, with 53 per cent giving a “thumbs up” to the idea of Crombie seeking the leadership position. 

Fewer respondents were less enthusiastic about the idea, with 47 per cent giving a “thumbs down” to Crombie’s leadership bid. 

After months of speculation, Crombie announced she was throwing her hat in the ring earlier this week. 

“I want to be leader of a Liberal government that puts people first,” Crombie stated on BonnieForLeader.ca when the website first launched (before being temporarily taken down). 

The website explained that as leader of the Ontario Liberals, she wanted to take down Doug Ford’s government “that has made things worse through cutback(s) and underfunding of key public services.”

“Ontario is at a tipping point,” she said on the website. “We cannot afford more of what this government has done over the past five years.”

For months, speculation has swirled that Crombie would seek the position once Steven Del Duca stepped down after the party’s crushing defeat at the hands of Ford’s Conservatives, who were re-elected last June.

The next provincial election will be held in 2026. 

Crombie, 63, has served as Mississauga’s mayor since 2014 but previously sat as a Liberal MP in the riding of Mississauga-Streetsville from 2008 to 2011–the year she was defeated by Conservative Brad Butt, who now serves on Mississauga City Council.

Crombie has said she won’t resign her role as mayor yet and will pursue the Liberal leadership on her own time — on weekends or evenings. Still, some are concerned her focus will be divided during a critical time as Mississauga is heading for independence from the Region of Peel by 2025.

Should Crombie be chosen as leader, Mississauga could be left without a mayor for five or more months, as the next municipal election is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2026.

Running a by-election could be costly. The Toronto by-election to replace Mayor John Tory is expected to cost taxpayers around $13 million.

But council may decide to “rotate” a person in the mayoral position, Crombie told Breakfast Television today (May 23).

Ford said he had two reactions to Crombie announcing her run for the Ontario Liberal leadership: “What took you so long?” and “Bring it on.”

“This is all about Bonnie Crombie’s political agenda. It’s not about the people of Mississauga,” he said, criticizing Crombie for splitting her efforts between running the city and making a bid for provincial leadership.

“I’m going to take care of the people of Mississauga, and Bonnie’s going to be running around the province not worrying about the people of Mississauga — in my opinion it’s a real slap in the face to the residents there.”

  • With files from Steve Pecar, Karen Longwell and Jonah Shinuda
INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising