On October 22nd, eligible voters will be able to elect a mayor, ward councilors, and school board trustees for the City of Mississauga in the 2018 municipal election.
Since its incorporation in 1974, the city has seen four mayors, including the city’s longest serving mayor, Hazel McCallion. After McCallion’s 36 years of leadership, current mayor Bonnie Crombie took over in 2014.
This year, the eight candidates running for mayor include: Bonnie Crombie, Scott E.W. Chapman, Kevin J. Johnston, Mohsin Khan, Andree Lee, Yasmin Pouragheli, Syed Qumber Rizvi, and Tiger Meng Wu.
To help students make an informed decision on election day The Medium reviewed the mayoral candidates’ stances on issues UTM students are facing today.
On transit, incumbent mayor Crombie told The Medium, “Over the last four years under my leadership, our City’s transit and transportation map has grown. From securing full funding ($1.4 billion), for the Hurontario LRT, to completing the Bus Rapid Transit Way to the Airport Corporate Centre, to increasing MiWay service by 160,000 hours.”
If re-elected, she stated that she will “advocate to the provincial government for rapid transit on Dundas Street from the University of Toronto Mississauga to Kipling Subway Station.” She will also “continue to advocate to the province for all-day, two-way GO service on all three Mississauga GO train corridors, but in particular the Milton Corridor, the second busiest in the entire system.”
In Chapman’s campaign, he states that if elected he will ‘completely revamp Mississauga transit’ so that ‘during regular transit hours there will be a 15 minute or less connection time between all buses”.
Johnston’s official website states, “we must freeze Mississauga Transit and MiWay fares for four years and introduce 4-hour transfers from the time you request it.” Johnston hopes to ensure fewer empty busses by “fixing bus routes and bus scheduling.” He hopes to offset costs by “aggressively selling advertising space on, in and around all transit terminals.”
Khan has not made any comments regarding transit affairs during his campaign.
Lee, a retired engineer from Ontario Hydro Nuclear, told The Medium “if elected, [he] will personally take the bus (one more person joining the crowd).” He went on to say “I remember when I was a student, sometime[s] the bus company sent an empty bus to pick up passengers in the mid-route to lessen the load. That was years ago.”
During the UTMSU’s mayoral candidate forum, Pouragheli said she was inspired by Turkey’s practice of discounting transit passes in exchange for one’s trash or recycling while Rizvi argued the upcoming construction of the Hurontario will increase instead of elevate congestion in the Hurontario corridor.
Wu, a current UTM student running for mayor, stated in his campaign platform that he will be “adding additional routes during peak hours to accomplish the goal of increasing ridership by not relying on personal transportation and increasing opportunities for employment.”
Incumbent mayor Crombie said to The Medium she will continue to host the ‘Mayor’s Youth Employment Expo’ each year and continue the ‘Youth Speakers’ Series’. Furthermore, she “will continue to work with UTM and Sheridan on bridging the skills gap with business to ensure graduating youth are ready to meet the jobs employers need filled” through the ‘Building Skilled Talent Together Program.’
Chapman and Khan have not made any comments regarding youth employment during their campaigns.
Johnston told The Medium he hopes “to bring fortune 500 companies back into [Mississauga],” as well as “foreign investment.” His main goal is to work with major corporations around the world to bring back manufacturing and create jobs. People who work feel better about themselves, so they’ll contribute more to society.”
Lee told The Medium, “I noticed a lot [of] young people, when they [are] looking for jobs, they will always be asked about experience. ‘No experience, no job and no job, no experience’. It is a vicious circle for young graduates.” He proposed a “Mayor’s Fund” to give “young graduates a starting point.”
In similar approaches to battling youth unemployment: Pouragheli’s campaign involves “partnering with institutions to combat youth unemployment.” Rizvi’s campaign aims on “creating job opportunities for highly educated youth and young families.” Wu’s campaign includes “working with local universities, colleges, and peel school boards in providing vast opportunities to the younger generation and recent graduates.
Combating crime requires “investing in enforcement activities, as well as programs that tackle the root cause of crime to prevent it from happening in the first place,” stated Crombie. “I will rejoin the Peel Police Services Board to work closely with the police chief and the community to ensure we maintain a safe community, with a modern police force that people continue to have trust in.”
Regarding prevention efforts against crime, Crombie stated that if re-elected she will “create the Mayor’s Roundtable on Community Safety to bring together the federal and provincial governments” to “coordinate advocacy efforts, share their best practices, and work together to tackle crime and improve safety in our community.” And in the 2019 Budget she will “ask staff to conduct a review of our youth recreation programming to see where the gaps exist and invest in more programming for at-risk youth.”
Chapman’s campaign stated that he ”would outfit every police officer with a body camera” as they “will help give the public hope that the officers will act accordingly if they’re being monitored. It will also help protect the integrity of our officers against unfounded accusations. The cost of the cameras will be paid for within 10 years by speeding up court cases and eliminating some of them all together with the assistance of video evidence.”
“We have a major gang problem, and a major knife, and gun, and drug problem in Mississauga,” Johnston told The Medium. As mayor he will work closely with police so that they will “no longer have interference from city hall and will be encouraged to use modern policing investigation methods to bring Mississauga’s out of control crime back under control.”
Khan, Rizvi, and Wu have not made any comments regarding safety or crime during their campaigns.
Lee stated, “fighting crime cannot count on police alone,” and that it requires “community cooperation to prevent criminal events from their sources.” Regarding campus safety, Lee commented that he “will need a strong police presence to protect students.”
Pouragheli’s told The Medium that “students should expect steady, legislative reforms” if he is elected into office.
“I believe a mayora can achieve much change and needed legal reforms if they actually try,” he continued. “While fixing the roots of crime may take time and while it’s a federal issue – a cross border registry is the only way to manage and track the illegal gun shootings.”
Incumbent mayor Crombie is “proud that UTM is the fastest growing campus in the U of T network, home to a number of cutting-edge buildings, including the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry led by Dr. Patrick Gunning.”
If re-elected Crombie stated, “as mayor, I will continue to support our $1 million annual contribution from the City of Mississauga to UTM, as well expand the partnership between our City and UTM.”
Chapman, Khan, Pouragheli, and Wu have not made any comments regarding Academic growth in their campaigns.
Lee commented on Mississauga’s placement between Waterloo and Toronto, stating, “Waterloo is our Tech Centre and Toronto the Financial Centre. “We should be able to use this advantage to develop some linkage. Give me the chance, I will try my best.” Furthermore, recognizing the high demand of graduates from the “hotel management” program at Cornell University, Lee asked, “can we start a ‘city management’ course at UTM?”
Rizvi’s campaign involves a proposal to the “Provincial Government to allow us to have [our] own University called “University of Mississauga.”
The municipal elections will be held on October 22nd.
Mayoral candidates Scott Chapman, Mohsin Khan, Syed Qumber Rizvi, and Tiger Meng haven’t replied to a request for comment. Additional information gathered was obtained from their campaign statements and UTMSU’s mayoral candidate panel held on October 4th.