Mississauga residents’ associations hosting candidate debates & 'interviews' ahead of June 10 mayoral by-election
(Alexis Wright/The Pointer) 

Mississauga residents’ associations hosting candidate debates & 'interviews' ahead of June 10 mayoral by-election

With candidate registration now closed and the Mississauga by-election just over a month away, residents will get a chance to hear from some of the candidates seeking to become the city’s next mayor.

Current City Councillors Stephen Dasko, Alvin Tedjo, and Dipika Damerla, along with former councillor Carolyn Parrish, who resigned from her Ward 5 position in March — igniting a simultaneous by-election to fill the vacant position — George Tavares, David Shaw, who came second in 2022, and last-minute entry Brian Crombie will be on the mayoral ballot. Peter McCallion withdrew from the race and will focus his support on Parrish’s campaign. Registration closed on April 26. For a full list of candidates visit the City of Mississauga’s website.

Ahead of the June 10 election, two events are coming up to give residents a chance to hear from the candidates directly.

A candidate question and answer event will take place May 6 at Clarke Memorial Hall to welcome residents city-wide to “interview” some of the candidates running in the mayoral race. The event, organized by Town of Port Credit Association, Credit Reserve Association, Orchard Heights Homeowners’ Association and Cranberry Cove Ratepayers Association, will allow candidates to introduce themselves and their platform and give residents a chance to ask questions on their pressing issues. Organizers say questions will be “focused on city building challenges,” including housing, transportation, infrastructure and what candidates see as critical issues regarding the city’s future growth.

“This gathering… provides an opportunity for all mayoral candidates to discuss their visions for the future of Mississauga and take questions from the associations’ panel as well as residents of Mississauga at the open mic,” a press release from the collective of residents’ associations states. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with a 7 p.m. start. Dasko, Tedjo, Damerla, Parrish, Tavares and Shaw will be among those participating in the “interview” event. Other candidates in attendance will include Jainstein Dookie and Syed Jaffery.

A candidate debate, hosted by MIRANET (Mississauga Residents’ Associations Network) will take place the following day on May 7 at Maja Prentice Theatre with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and a 7 p.m. start also. Organizers confirmed that six of the registered candidates will be in attendance including Dasko, Tedjo, Damerla, Parrish, Tavares and Shaw. 

“Join us for an exciting in-person event where mayoral candidates will face off to discuss the key issues facing our city and showcase their leadership, ideas, and vision for the city,” an Eventbrite page for the event reads. “Don't miss this opportunity to witness a unique showdown between potential city leaders, all vying for your vote. Come and be a part of the action, ask questions, and see who will shine brightest under pressure.”

These events will be critical for candidates and residents as public involvement in municipal government has been declining in recent years and voter turnout will be a determining factor in the upcoming by-election. Voter turnout for the 2022 municipal election was down to historic lows with just over 20 percent of residents coming out to the polls. 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 marked a decline from 2018, when just 26.4 percent of voters cast a ballot. 



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