Race to be next mayor of Mississauga ‘an open field,’ Crombie says

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Published December 5, 2023 at 3:24 pm

Mayor Bonnie Crombie at Queen's Park Dec. 5 2023
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, named new leader of the Ontario Liberals this past weekend, speaks to the media on Tuesday at Queen's Park.

Bonnie Crombie, new leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and still mayor of Mississauga for another month or so, says the race to succeed her at the helm of Canada’s seventh-largest city is pretty much “an open field” at the moment.

Speaking to the media this afternoon at Queen’s Park in Toronto following her first caucus meeting with the provincial Liberals, Crombie said she doesn’t plan to endorse any particular candidate when the time comes for the City of Mississauga to host a mayoral byelection to replace her.

“No, I don’t think I’ll take that approach, no,” Crombie, 63, said in response to a question from the media. The third-term mayor, herself, was endorsed by her iconic predecessor, Hazel McCallion, in the 2014 municipal election.

“There’s an open field right now; I know there are lots of people that have expressed interest, but there will be many more. When there’s not an incumbent running, there will be a lot of expressions (of interest) from business, community and political leaders.”

But, first things first. Crombie says there’s unfinished business in Mississauga she must take care of as mayor prior to turning her full attention to leading the Ontario Liberals as they set about ousting Premier Doug Ford in the next election, slated for June 2026.

She said her responsibilities as mayor will likely take her into early January, after which she’ll then resign from the city and take up full-time residence at Queen’s Park.

“Of course, I have a number of long-standing commitments including wrapping up my (Mississauga) budget, the budget of the Region of Peel and also some commitments and then I’ll resign my seat and commit myself full-time here in provincial parliament,” Crombie said.

Crombie just emerged victorious from the Liberal leadership campaign of the past several months, her political win announced this past weekend in Toronto.

And on Wednesday morning, in all likelihood, she’ll be in attendance at a Mississauga meeting of general committee.

When municipal budgets are sent on their way in January, and Crombie resigns her mayoral post to set out on her new political journey, Mississauga will return to its plan of rotating councillors as acting mayor until it can get things in order for a mayoral byelection.

It’s unclear at this point how quickly city officials would have to set up a mayoral byelection to replace Crombie for the duration of the current term.

The next municipal election in Ontario takes place on Oct. 26, 2026.

While Crombie said she wouldn’t be endorsing any byelection candidate, she did tell insauga.com in an earlier interview (see below) what type of person she’d like to succeed her as the political head of the city that Hazel built.

In the interview with insauga.com publisher Khaled Iwamura, Crombie said it should be “someone who is equally committed to our priorities; someone who will follow in the same footsteps Hazel (McCallion) and I have created…we’re both heavily engaged in the community.

“My presence at every event — whether it’s the festivals, it’s the ribbon cuttings for new businesses, it’s the parades, it’s the banquets, the celebrations — I think that’s vitally important. Our community expects that of their mayor. They expect you not only to do the day-to-day work at city hall, to shepherd through our priorities, but also be a presence in the community, be that ambassador for the city.”

Crombie, who served as a Liberal MP from 2008 to 2011 before succeeding McCallion as mayor of Mississauga in 2014, won a third-straight term as Mississauga mayor last fall, earning 77 per cent of the vote in the 2022 municipal election.

A recent insauga.com interview with Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

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