Crime, affordability top of mind for Mississauga candidates vying for vacant Ward 5 council seat
(Feature image @FriendsOfMalton/X)

Crime, affordability top of mind for Mississauga candidates vying for vacant Ward 5 council seat

The candidate who fills the shoes of Mississauga political icon Carolyn Parrish will have to address a unique set of needs in Mississauga’s Ward 5, an area largely isolated from the rest of the city and rich in diversity.

The Ward 5 seat on City Council became vacant after Parrish resigned “as a matter of principle” to ensure fairness for the City’s taxpayers, following a decade-long tenure on council, to run her campaign in the mayoral byelection to replace Bonnie Crombie. Both byelections will take place on June 10. 

One of Mississauga’s largest wards by both population and geography, with over 77,000 residents, Ward 5 encompasses the communities of Britannia and Malton, divided by Pearson Airport. The incoming councillor will have to deal with poor urban planning decades ago that disconnected Malton from the rest of the city. Cut off from many services that provide social support, healthcare, public safety and commercial/economic opportunities, Malton has often struggled with problems that are more acute compared to other parts of Mississauga.  

The successful candidate will also need to represent a diverse range of needs. According to the 2016 Census, almost 85 percent of Malton residents were visible minorities; the largest groups were South Asian-Canadians, Chinese-Canadians, Black- Canadians, Filipino-Canadians, Latino-Canadians and Arab-Canadians.

The ward has historically been ‘“out of sight, out of mind” for people inside, and outside the area, according to its former council representative. The next Ward 5 councillor will need to follow in the footsteps of Parrish who has repeatedly pushed for increased resources and services in the underserved community. 

Nominations for the Ward 5 byelection opened shortly after the seat was declared vacant on March 20. So far, seven candidates have registered. Those vying to represent Ward 5 include: 

Amir Ali comes into the race with campaign experience, having ran in the 2022 municipal election for Ward 7 against incumbent Dipika Damerla. 

“From transit issues to potholes, dangerous cycle tracks, speeding and delayed projects like the Hurontario LRT and Goreway Bridge, [these] demand innovative solutions,” he told The Pointer. “We need a leader who breaks free from the status quo to address these problems with out-of-the-box thinking and planning.”

According to information shared with The Pointer, his platform will focus on the rental/ownership crisis by slowing City approvals for housing, which he says will help with soaring interest rates, steep development fees and housing shortages. According to him, the plan will soften the impacts of higher rents and mortgages. Mississauga needs “smart” density projects to be approved on a fast-track system along major roads or near transit, he said, with lower fees and lower taxes. With an increase in auto thefts in recent years, he is prioritizing community safety through the proposal for a “Safe City Surveillance System”. The climate crisis is another issue in his platform with plans to introduce a reimbursement program for residents to encourage more recycling in the community. 

Danny Singh told The Pointer his decision to run for City Council “stems from a commitment to [the] community's vibrancy,” which he says was inspired by Parrish's leadership. He worked for her from 2014 to 2021 as her director of operations and executive assistant. 

“Growing up, schooling, and now living my adult life in this Ward 5, I understand its diverse needs,” he said. “For young voters, I envision an inclusive Ward 5, fostering growth and innovation. Middle-aged constituents can expect initiatives enhancing quality of life and sustainability. Seniors will find support for their well-being and dignity. I aim to continue Carolyn Parrish's work while exploring new horizons, ensuring a promising future for all generations in Ward 5.”


Embracing growth, transit, sustainability and equity are the main priorities for Danny Singh as he campaigns for the vacant Ward 5 seat.

(Submitted by Danny Singh)


For Singh, the area resident said Ward 5 “faces a blend of challenges and opportunities.” He noted preserving community identity while embracing growth and addressing neighborhood character and evolving services is crucial for long-time residents. He acknowledged “newcomers seek opportunities in a vibrant, inclusive community but require attention to infrastructure strain, housing affordability, and social integration.” Other pressing issues facing the city as a whole, he explained, are transit, sustainability and equity, which will require forward thinking strategies to ensure sustainable growth. 

To address these issues, Singh said he will collaborate with law enforcement to combat rising crime, focusing on car thefts, remove education-related taxes from property bills to address affordability concerns, improve transportation accessibility, particularly for seniors and newcomers, by building on previous achievements like $1 bus fares for seniors and working towards making transit free for seniors — initiatives he said “are crucial for enhancing living conditions in Ward 5, fostering a vibrant, inclusive community.”

“I pledge to represent both the deep heritage and future prospects of Ward 5, ensuring all voices are heard in navigating these challenges in this large, unique Ward,” Singh said. “Together, we can pave a path toward a brighter future for Ward 5 and the entire City of Mississauga.” 

Manish Sawhney has held several roles with the PC government ministries, including in the Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility, the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, according to his LinkedIn.

He told The Pointer he was asked by residents to “run because they are tired of the same old players getting nothing done.” 

Tired of “lip service and band aid solutions that don't work,” Sawhney said focusing on crimes like auto theft and addressing high property taxes will be a primary focus for him and he plans on “working with neighborhood groups on building an action plan that comes from the community, not a top down approach that Malton and Britannia has always seen.”

Long-time Mississauga resident Natalie Hart will also be among those contending for the vacant councillor seat. Born and raised in the city, Hart said she “fell in love with Malton and Ward 5 when I became general manager of the Malton [Business Improvement Area] in 2019.” In her position working with local business owners and leaders, along with former councillor Parrish, Hart has “had the opportunity to be a champion for our diverse and dynamic community.” Among her community work, Hart has been a part of organizing the Ward’s Canada Day and Diwali celebrations, leading the $3 million project to bring a replica Avro Arrow to Malton, and lobbying for infrastructure investment in projects like the Goreway Bridge.


The main issues that are top of mind for Mississauga native Natalie Hart are crime and improving safety, housing, affordability and transit.

(Natalie Hart/X)


“Working with residents and businesses, I see there’s so much more I could do for our community as a councillor,” she acknowledged. “I know how to bring people together to get the big things done.”

While she said Mississauga is a great city to call home, residents are also “facing real challenges to building the lives they deserve,” including concerns around safety, affordability and the looming housing crisis. Having already been engaged in community safety with the BIA, Hart said the city needs to work with its federal and provincial counterparts to “tackle auto theft, track police response time to identify gaps in service, and crack down on road racing and stunt driving.” 

To address the housing crisis, Hart said the municipality needs to speed up housing approvals “and make it easier to apply for second units and offer property tax rebates for registration, encourage regulation and monitoring of rooming houses to ensure tenant and community safety,” while also supporting gentle density like multiplexes. Hart said she will also make it a priority to work with MiWay to prioritize safe stops, reduce overcrowding and increase accessibility and strive for increased Go Train frequency and station upgrades.

Shelley Scott-England said she’s running for City Council because it’s “important to not just be a witness to the needs of your community,” adding that she believes “direct involvement in the mechanics of government affords me an opportunity to play an active part in the solutions.”

Some of the most pressing issues for Scott-England include community safety in wake of the growing crime rates, promoting youth opportunities and engagement, and the precarious housing crisis for seniors and affordable housing as a whole. To address the issue of crime, Scott-England said she will work closely with the various community stakeholders to understand their needs and advocate on their behalf for the City to provide them with sufficient resources to effectively and appropriately address the various specific issues related to crime. 


Shelley Scott-England’s top three priorities are community safety, youth engagement and affordable housing.

(Shelley Scott-England/LinkedIn) 


For improving youth engagement, Scott-England will work to ensure existing city infrastructure is properly maintained and that municipal programs targeting youth are adequately and sustainably funded, in addition to making sure communication remains open “on a continuous basis and that the actions of the city are responsive to the actual needs of the community.” As for affordable housing, she would like to look at the possibilities of the City taking a more direct role in providing affordable housing but working with provincial and federal partners to ensure there is sufficient financial support.   

Other candidates vying for the Ward 5 seat include Hamid Akbar, who ran for the seat in the 2022 municipal election and describes himself on his website, as “a longtime community activist and public servant from Mississauga who thinks Ward 5 needs a councillor to get things done quickly,” and Imran Hasan, who ran in the last several municipal elections, the most recent as a Ward 11 candidate in the 2022 municipal election. They did not respond to The Pointer ahead of publication. 

Nominations for the Ward 5 byelection will be open until April 26. 



Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories to ensure every resident of Brampton, Mississauga and Niagara has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you

Submit a correction about this story