Alvin Tedjo is fourth Mississauga councillor to join mayor’s race but City hasn’t decided how to hold multiple elections
(Feature image from Twitter/X) 

Alvin Tedjo is fourth Mississauga councillor to join mayor’s race but City hasn’t decided how to hold multiple elections

A report presented to City Council Wednesday revealed when Mississauga residents could elect a new mayor (likely on June 10), but there are unanswered questions about what will happen with the seats currently held by four councillors who have now said they want to replace Bonnie Crombie. 

With Monday’s announcement by Alvin Tedjo, he joins Carolyn Parrish, Dipika Damerla and Stephen Dasko on the list of sitting councillors now planning to vie for the mayor’s seat.   

The report, presented to councillors on Wednesday, outlines that the vote to elect a new mayor in Mississauga will probably take place June 10. It requests council pass a bylaw during a March 6 special meeting to trigger the process for a by-election to fill the seat, declared vacant on January 17 after Crombie’s official departure a few days earlier. 

Wednesday’s report reveals candidate nominations could begin as early as March 6 once the bylaw is passed and would close April 26. Advance poll days would be held at the Civic Centre on May 24 and 25 and at locations throughout the city June 1 and June 2. 

Diana Rusnov, director of legislative services and City Clerk, told council the timeline for the by-election was determined by the resources and time needed for a general election year.

“Every day is valuable to us,” she explained, adding, “I was trying to balance our needs as well the understanding of what council’s needs for the representation both here and at the region and that’s where this date came from.”

The report requests council approve up to $3.5 million from the City’s election reserves to cover by-election costs. A City spokesperson recently told The Pointer costs for previous City of Mississauga by-elections were $458,000 in 2011 and $275,000 in 2015, but noted those “by-elections were for one ward vs city-wide, so the costs are not comparable to what we will be undertaking this year for the mayoral by-election.” A single ward by-election, to possibly replace a current council member if one becomes the new mayor, could cost up to $500,000.

But there could be more than one other by-election. Carolyn Parrish’s decision to resign her councillor seat once she registers to run for mayor, will create the need for at least one additional by-election. But if the other three councillors who have announced plans to run for mayor also resign from their current jobs, that would be five by-elections in total. Parrish has publicly stated she wants the Ward 5 by-election, to replace her, held at the same time as the mayoral vote, to save taxpayers the money that would otherwise have to be spent on a separate by-election.

But this is not a requirement. Unlike higher levels of government, which require a sitting elected official to resign their seat to run in either an Ontario or federal election, this is not the case at the municipal level. Councillors are allowed to hang onto their seat, and run for mayor, and if they lose, return to their role as a councillor. 

The other three future mayoral candidates have not said whether or not they will follow Parrish’s example, to save taxpayers from having to possibly pay for a second by-election later in the year.  

Tedjo confirmed during an event on Monday he will be joining his three council colleagues in the race to be mayor.

In a phone interview the morning after the event, Tedjo, currently in his first term on council, told The Pointer that running for mayor wasn’t something he originally set out to do, but after the opportunity arose, and after conversations with community members, he decided to put his name in the race. 

“The more I spoke to people about the kind of mayor I thought we needed as a city, somebody with energy, someone with vision and the drive to take on the challenges that we've got coming forward, the more people were suggesting that they wanted to support me to do that,” he told The Pointer.


Councillor Alvin Tedjo is the fourth member of council to publicly announce plans to run in the upcoming mayoral by-election.



His family’s thumbs up was also a factor. 

“They were on board and supportive and so I decided to do that for them because I've got young kids who I want to be able to grow up in this city and, when they get older, to continue living in the city. And the way things are going right now, that's not going to be possible,” he explained.  

“It's getting increasingly difficult so I think that's why it's so important that we don't just have a caretaker or anyone else coming to do this job who isn't completely focused on building the future city that we need.” 

As the youngest member on council, Tedjo says that puts him in a good spot to be able to connect and relate to residents’ emerging challenges and the problems they face. 

“We can't buy as much food anymore because the cost of food has gone up. We know people who are struggling with the cost of housing, the cost of rent, the cost of their mortgages. That's a huge problem. And I think we need to be able to address those problems and it's something that my family and I face as well. And so that's why we want to make sure it's a front and center issue in the election.”

During his short time as councillor, Tedjo has spearheaded free transit for children, an upgrade to the City’s environmental plan, making playing on city streets legal, and putting forward a motion on fourplexes, which helped draw $112.9 million in funding through the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund after Crombie used her provincially appointed strong mayor powers to push the motion through. 

“There's lots that we've been able to do, I think in my first term, that is a demonstration of what I can do.”

Parrish, the most politically experienced current contender, is, as of now, the only council member intending to run who will resign her councillor seat “as a matter of principle”, with the intention “that both contests can take place on the same day, demonstrating full commitment and saving the City hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.” 

It’s possible, even with two years left in the current term, that council could vote to replace Parrish by appointment, instead of a by-election. 

Her approach would mean “no prolonged second campaign and no further half-million dollars to do so.” Parrish has declared she has no comment on the choice of other candidates to do the same, as “these are personal decisions”. 


Veteran Councillor Carolyn Parrish says she intends to resign from her Ward 5 position upon registering to run in the mayoral by-election. No report outlining a timeline to replace the long-time councillor has been prepared.

(The Pointer files) 


Unlike provincial and federal elections that require candidates to resign from their seats to run for a municipal position, the Municipal Act allows elected officials in a lower tier of government to retain their seat while they run for higher office. A City spokesperson previously explained that should Parrish choose to resign from her position upon registering to run, “a by-election for the position of Councillor may be held at the same time as the Mayoral by-election dependent on the timing of the Councillor resignation.”  

Councillors are not required to resign their seat to run in the mayoral by-election, the spokesperson said. Should they opt to resign to run for the position, “Council can choose to either appoint somebody to fill the seat for the remainder of the term or choose to have a by-election.” Staff would then be required to prepare a report outlining the timing for a by-election that would be decided on by City Council. No report has been prepared yet to determine a timeline for a possible by-election to replace Parrish.

“If the Councillor does not resign their seat to run in the Mayoral by-election and wins the Mayoral by-election, they would either resign their ward seat or it would be deemed vacant when they are sworn in as Mayor,” the spokesperson explained. “At that time Council could either appoint a person to fill the ward seat for the remainder of the term or, within 60 days, pass a by-law requiring a by-election for the vacant seat. Staff would then prepare a report outlining the timing for a by-election.” 

When asked what a timeline for a possible by-election to replace Parrish would look like, the spokesperson said that once a resignation is received, staff are required to include it on the next available council agenda and report back on options for filling the position and the timing of a potential by-election.

A by-election for Parrish's Ward 5 seat cannot be called until she resigns, which likely won't happen until at least March when registration for the mayor’s race officially opens, putting on hold any preparation for an additional by-election. With the delay, the spokesperson also could not confirm whether the by-election for Ward 5 could still happen on the same day as the June date for the mayoral by-election. 

“Staff would work within the legislated timelines to fill the vacancy,” the spokesperson explained. “After the by-law requiring a by-election is passed, the legislation allows for a period of 30 to 60 days during which nominations will be accepted. The legislation requires voting day to be 45 days from Nomination Day (the final day for submitting a nomination).” 

“Only once the resignation is received can Council decide whether the vacancy should be filled via appointment or a by-election.”


Councillor Stephen Dasko is among the councillors that have announced their intentions to run for mayor.

(The Pointer files) 


This means that, depending on the outcome of the mayoral race, residents could see a second by-election take place again in the fall, leaving the City in the unenviable position of preparing additional costs and resources. 

When asked if he intends to follow Parrish’s lead in resigning from his seat upon registering his mayoral candidacy, Tedjo said “every councillor and candidate has every right to do what they think is best,” noting that with a young family, it's important to him to continue to support them through the process. 

“I'm most interested in making sure that we have the opportunity to have this discussion, the conversation that we're trying to have about the future of our city and how we can best do that as a councillor, and as a candidate, and happy to continue doing that and spend all the time I need to make sure that no one gets underserved,” he explained.  

Dasko and Damerla have not signalled whether they intend to resign their council seat. 

A recent Liaison Strategies poll revealed Parrish is the front-runner in the race to replace Crombie. The veteran councillor leads her nearest potential competitor, Councillor Damerla, by 11 percentage points among decided voters and six points among all voters. Released January 15, two days before council declared Crombie’s seat vacant, the survey showed Parrish had the support of 35 percent of those residents who responded and identified as decided voters. Damerla followed with 24 percent. 

Dasko was tied in fifth among the candidates listed with 6 percent support, trailing behind Councillor Tedjo, who was third at 16 percent despite not having announced his intention to run when the survey was conducted. Almost half, 49 percent, of those surveyed indicated they were undecided. 

Voter turnout will be a key factor. Previous reporting from The Pointer suggested engagement is declining. Voter turnout for the 2022 municipal election was abysmal and council chambers often resemble a ghost town. According to the City of Mississauga’s official results for the 2022 municipal election, of the 491,260 registered voters across the city, only 107,310 ballots were cast, just 21.8 percent. It marked the lowest turnout since the 2003 election, when only 19.99 percent of eligible voters bothered to participate. The latest election saw a decline from 2018, when only 26.4 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.



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