Mississauga mayoral race: The most important issues, according to the candidates

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Municipal Matters: Mississauga Election camdidates, Bill 57 impact
WATCH ABOVE: In the latest edition of Municipal Matters, political expert Myer Siemiatycki joins Candace Daniel to discuss how Bill 57 is affecting local politicians, the Mississauga election, and other hot button issues in municipal politics. – May 9, 2024

The Mississauga mayoral byelection is just weeks away, and with 20 candidates on the ballot, voters have plenty of names to choose from.

Advance polls will be held at Mississauga city hall on May 24 and 25. On June 1 and 2, advance polls will open at locations across the city.

Election day is June 10.

To help voters decide whom they want to cast a ballot for, using contact information listed on the City of Mississauga website, Global News reached out to each of the 20 mayoral candidates and asked them what they believe the most pressing issue is for voters.

Candidates were asked the following question: In 100 words or less, what do you believe is the biggest issue facing Mississauga voters, and what will you do to address it? 

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The responses below were received from the candidates. They are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Some may be slightly over the word limit. Responses may have been edited for grammar and/or conciseness.

Brian Crombie

Our municipal democracy has failed us. With only a 21 per cent turnout in city elections, voters feel disconnected and disillusioned.

Housing affordability, misleading tax increases, budget mismanagement, worsening congestion, and rising crime plague our city. People perceive city hall as indifferent and ineffective.

Yet, amidst these challenges lies an opportunity for transformation. I propose a new era of accountability and community empowerment.

To address this, I’ll prioritize listening and accountability. I’ll introduce municipal referendums and term limits to empower citizens and combat incumbency. Rebuilding trust through community engagement and revitalizing public spaces is crucial.

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Mississauga must evolve into a thriving city, not merely one that survives.

Dipika Damerla

The biggest issue facing our city is how to keep it livable and affordable. I have the experience to do this and a proven record of standing up for Mississauga.

I will ensure our neighbourhoods are safe, especially when it comes to tackling auto theft.

I will keep our property taxes affordable.

I will take a sensible and practical approach to growth. For example, I will stop the $27M Bloor Street project that takes away two car lanes and creates gridlock.

I want to build a Mississauga bursting with opportunity. Truly great cities are places where people can build a better life for themselves and their children.

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Bonnie Crombie departs as Mississauga’s mayor

Stephen Dasko

We need to prioritize housing of ALL types for ownership and rental to ensure everyone in Mississauga has a place to call home.

I will work collaboratively with developers and different levels of government to find appropriate timelines and funds to get shovels in the ground.

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The HST has already been removed from building supplies from developments to incentivize purpose-built rental accommodations.

I will sit down with both the federal and provincial governments and developers to ensure we get a just and equitable new deal for infrastructure requirements to build the 80,000 units already approved.

Jamie Dookie

As mayor, I will roll back property taxes to zero, eliminate the storm water levy and work to reduce the size of council from 12 to seven to save $8M, and work with the province to amalgamate Peel Region to save $43M.

I will introduce municipal insurance, municipal lottery and other revenue tools to generate $103M annually.

In addition, I will mandate residential rental registration and licensing and end three-hour street parking limits and allow overnight street parking by permit only.

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I will also amend zoning to build residential units in industrial areas/above box stores.

I would engage technological solutions to stop auto theft/Google-engaged to inform and immobilize vehicles.

Frank Fang

The biggest issues Mississauga faces are crime and safety, affordability of living and lack of communication between major and residents. To tackle these challenges, I propose a multi-pronged strategy.

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Firstly, I suggest establishing a “Bravery Award Fund” of $20 million to celebrate acts of courage and promote community safety. Secondly, offering free public transit for seniors aged 65 or older will alleviate financial strain. Thirdly, by creating more jobs and supporting local businesses, we can enhance affordability and economic vitality. Lastly, monthly meetings between the mayor and residents will foster communication and collaboration.

Together, these initiatives aim to make Mississauga more modern and great again while ensuring residents feel supported and heard by their mayor knowing that Frank Fang will always be on their side.

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Xiaohua Gong

The greatest challenges facing voters in Mississauga are affordability, tax reduction, and housing issues. Also, attraction of high-tech enterprises to increase job opportunities.

If I elected as mayor, I will immediately and urgently reduce property taxes by one to three per cent.

During my term, I will construct 50,000 units of affordable housing and elderly homes, providing residents with places to live.

I will also establish an airport economic ecological park to expand employment, develop the e-commerce industry, and expand job opportunities for young people through artificial intelligence.

Winston Harding

The biggest issue facing Mississauga residents is the urgent need for more homes to address the housing crisis. I will work to develop affordable housing projects and initiatives to ensure everyone has a safe and comfortable place to live.

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Additionally, I am committed to keeping taxes affordable by managing spending efficiently.

A subway is crucial for our city’s transportation needs, and I will push for its development to improve accessibility and reduce congestion.

I will keep Bloor Street as two-way lanes as it is.

I also prioritize supporting seniors and addressing climate change for safer sustainable communities.

Sara Iqbal

Mississauga is currently facing a significant housing crisis that is characterized by soaring property prices and rents, making it increasingly difficult for many residents to afford a home.

This crisis poses a threat to the stability of the city, impacting families, workers, and businesses alike.

As a mayoral candidate, my primary objective is to take decisive action towards streamlining the current housing approval process, ensuring faster, affordable, and more efficient development of new housing projects.

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Collaboration with developers, nonprofits, and all levels of government will be pivotal in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth, stabilizing the housing market, and securing the future of Mississauga.

Syed Jaffery

One of the most important issues on my agenda is the safety and security of my constituents. I would like to implement stronger gun control laws and greater security from across the border to prevent arms smuggling. A safer and better social justice system would guarantee a smoother society with less violence and better mental health.

Providing affordable housing, food and shelter would be my utmost priority as a mayor.

Balancing the budget to provide proper funding for the most important programs and projects is essential. As mayor, I would make sure that enough funding is available for our essential programs to move forward and solve the problems of my Mississaugians.

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I would also like to implement a smart urban traffic control system powered by our new artificial intelligence technology to expedite the traffic.

Editor’s note: Some sentences were removed from this response for conciseness.

Mitchell MacEachern

The biggest issue facing Mississauga voters is the fact that nearly 80 per cent of eligible voters didn’t vote in the last mayoral election. Why? My answer is political apathy.

I believe Mississaugians — as well as perhaps most Canadians — have become disenfranchised when it comes to politics. It’s the same television broadcast on repeat, and has been for as long as I have been alive. I want to challenge that.

I don’t hide the fact that I don’t have the answers. But maybe answers aren’t what we need. Maybe we need questions and accountability. Here are a couple: How do we make voting worth it for people? And does a community that doesn’t vote have a democratic future?

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Sinisa Mandrapa

The primary concern for Mississauga voters is the need for job creation, especially higher-paying opportunities, to address housing affordability and availability. Attracting high-quality businesses is crucial to stimulate economic growth and provide stable employment.

Additionally, tackling crime rates, particularly carjackings, is essential to improving safety and restoring confidence in our community.

Lowering municipal taxes for residential and commercial properties is imperative to alleviate financial burdens and promote economic prosperity.

By prioritizing these initiatives, we can foster a thriving economy, enhance public safety, and create a more affordable and prosperous Mississauga for all residents. Vote for Sinisa Mandrapa on June 10!

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Mike Matulewicz

Crime! Voters don’t feel safe in their homes or community, due to increased violent auto thefts and home invasions.

I am the only candidate with an extensive corporate police background, allowing me to push forward practical crime reduction strategies city wide. Such as a community ALPR security gates program. Automated licence plate readers discreetly installed on lamp standards on all main entrances of a community, automatically triggering a police response when a stolen car is detected day or night.

It adds an additional layer of night security, for our families, homes and communities. One of a multi-layered approach to a complex problem.

Carolyn Parrish

The most pressing concern for most Mississauga residents is housing affordability. I’m ready to tackle this growing problem through a multi-faceted approach.

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Firstly, I will review the City’s approval processes with our planning department and an advisory panel of reputable developers.

I will consider zoning reforms such as office designations, to enable denser and more affordable housing on currently vacant lands.

I will repurpose portions of current malls with declining shoppers.

I will encourage the province to provide incentives for more affordable units in new developments and financing models for first-time buyers.

Safe, affordable rental or owned housing will be my first priority.

David Shaw

The most pressing issue in my mind is to open an investigation into the COVID mandates.

During the course of two years, human rights violations were committed by elected officials and regional health officers including: forced masking and injections, lockdowns of shops, businesses and places of worship, a halt in urgent medical care, and numerous other non-sensible mandates, which collectively resulted in bankruptcies, increased levels of depression, suicides and addiction, and most importantly in sizable numbers of vaccine injuries and deaths.

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As mayor, putting together a local commission to investigate, similar to the, will be my first order of business.

George Tavares

Over time, certain decisions have negatively impacted the quality of life and standards of living in Mississauga. Residents now face significant issues such as housing affordability, crime, transportation, and infrastructure challenges.

My approach addresses these problems by focusing on each decision’s impact on the quality of life in Mississauga. This includes engaging in challenging conversations about past missteps, improving communication, and optimizing city planning processes.

My priorities include strengthening communication between the city and its residents, refining city planning, fighting crime, investing in housing, transportation, and infrastructure.

By prioritizing transparency and accountability, I strive to create safer, affordable, and resilient communities.

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Alvin Tedjo

Affordability is the most urgent issue facing Mississauga residents today.

From the rising price of housing to the increasing cost of living, this is unsustainable for our residents.

As mayor, I intend to address this by freezing property taxes for two years for all Mississaugans, and lowering them for low-income seniors. My fully costed plan achieves this without cutting any municipal services.

I will also tackle our local housing crisis by building more homes, more efficiently.

With an ambitious plan and sound fiscal responsibility, we can put more money in our residents’ pockets, and restore certainty in your family’s future in Mississauga.

Nathalie Xian Yi Yan

The diverse challenges facing Mississauga, including infrastructure, housing affordability, and public transit, demand focused leadership and active engagement. As a leader, I will collaborate with all levels of government and stakeholders to advocate for sustainable development.

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This entails ensuring that the municipality’s basic foundation improvements align with environmental goals and accommodate the city’s growing population.

Additionally, I will champion policies supporting essential services such as policing and social housing while also promoting initiatives that encourage fitness and exercise.

Through transparent, accountable, and inclusive leadership, we can build a resilient and vibrant community that meets the evolving needs of Mississauga residents.

Mayoral candidates Zulfiqar Ali, Diya Atassi, and Mohsin Khan did not respond to Global News’ request by the time of publication.

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