Mississauga mayoral race: Who's running and their key promises

A view of Mississauga City Hall, Celebration Square Clock Tower, Square One, Absolute Condos, known as the 'Marilyn Monroe Buildings,' and surrounding residential neighbourhoods.  (John Badcock/CBC - image credit)
A view of Mississauga City Hall, Celebration Square Clock Tower, Square One, Absolute Condos, known as the 'Marilyn Monroe Buildings,' and surrounding residential neighbourhoods. (John Badcock/CBC - image credit)

Mississauga residents will pick their next mayor on June 10 in an election that's taking place as Ontario faces a housing crisis and many are seeing costs rise in their daily lives.

Four current city councillors have launched major campaigns in a bid to replace Bonnie Crombie, but there are 20 candidates in the field.

CBC News invited every candidate to write in about why they want to be mayor at this critical juncture and what their priorities would be if elected.

Here's what those who responded said, along with links to their campaign websites in case you want to find out more about their platforms.

Note: Some candidates didn't respond to our questions. Their information is listed at the bottom of this story.

Zulfiqar Ali

Zulfiqar Ali says he's called Mississauga home for 10 years and is running for mayor because he's disappointed in local government.

"I found out that the debate which is ongoing within the federal, provincial or municipal level even in mainstream media is not properly addressing the issues of the common man," Ali told CBC News.

Ali's campaign promises are wide-ranging and don't come with a price tag. Those promises include, but aren't limited to: issuing a food stamp card to every senior citizen, making MiWay transit free and creating a bureaucratic system that would cap the price of rental housing based on the type of dwelling on offer.

You can find more about Ali on X or Instagram.

Diya Atassi

Diya Atassi says a deep passion for his community has led him to run for mayor.

"While Mississauga has experienced remarkable growth, our infrastructure and services have struggled to keep pace and our commitment to young people and families hasn't grown enough," Atassi told CBC News.

Atassi is promising a range of improvements — from building out transit to hiring more police officers — while also saying he would work to freeze property tax.

Find out more about Atassi's campaign here .

Brian Crombie

Brian Crombie says he's running to fix four big problems. "I think we have lost our way," he told CBC News.

Crombie suggests the city is facing major issues when it comes to controlling tax increases, cutting red tape, building transit (especially to newly-developing neighbourhoods) and escalating crime.

"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. Mississauga must evolve into a thriving city, not merely one that survives," Crombie told CBC News.

Click here to learn more about the Crombie campaign.

Dipika Damerla

Dipika Damerla is the current councillor for Ward 7 and a former Ontario Liberal MPP.

"I want to build a city where everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. I have the experience, vision, and plan to make Mississauga more liveable and affordable," she told CBC News.

Damerla says her priorities are public safety, cancelling the Bloor Street redesign that would see the roadway narrowed to add bike lanes and building housing and transit infrastructure.

You can find a more detailed breakdown of Damerla's platform here.

Click here to find Damerla's campaign website.

Jamie Dookie

Jamie Dookie says he's been part of the Mississauga community for 34 years. He told CBC News he's running to "deliver change at Mississauga City Hall" and says he would lead with accountability and integrity.

Dookie says he would cut property taxes – eventually to zero – while making life in the city more affordable and safe.

You can find the Dookie campaign's website here.

Winston Harding

Winston Harding says his background in both real estate and divinity has given him a unique view of the challenges facing the city.

"My goal is to ensure that Mississauga remains a vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous city where every resident feels valued and supported," he told CBC News.

Harding says his priority would be extending a subway line into Mississauga, which he says would lead to a more vibrant community. His other goals include building more affordable housing and improving access to mental health supports.

Find his campaign website here.

Sara Iqbal

At 20, Sara Iqbal says she's the youngest candidate in the mayoral race.

"My experiences and concerns resonate with younger voters and those seeking change in the city," she told CBC News. "I bring a unique perspective and have a strong connection to the issues facing our community that I will address and bring change into the city."

Iqbal is promising to make MiWay transit free for those 65+, increase access to mental health services for youth and seniors alike, and speed up developer approvals to ease Mississauga's housing crisis.

She is also pledging a two-year property tax freeze.

Click here to learn more about the Iqbal campaign.

Sinisa Mandrapa

Sinisa Mandrapa, a real estate and mortgage broker, says he's lived in the city since he was seven.

"My vision is to guide our city on the right path, making changes that will unify our small communities and drive our progress for decades to come," he told CBC News.

Mandrapa says as mayor, he would reduce residential and commercial property taxes. But he's also pitching a number of big spending items.

Those include: Building a subway line from Kipling Station to the intersection of Winston Churchill Boulevard and Eglinton Avenue W., making transportation and dental care free for seniors and building a stadium to host "major league sports" and concerts.

Click here to learn more about the Mandrapa campaign.

Mike Matulewicz

Mike Matulewicz is focusing his mayoral run on public safety.

"I am alarmed at the increased criminal activity in our community and its dramatic effect on my neighbours, whom all express deep concerns for their safety and inadequate police response," he told CBC News.

Matulewicz says he worked with the Toronto Police Service at the management level and that work has given him insight that will help him improve things in the two years left in the current mayoral term.

He also identifies housing and access to family doctors as top issues.

Click here to learn more about Matulewicz.

David Shaw

David Shaw finished second to Bonnie Crombie in the 2022 election, capturing 7,202 votes.

He describes himself online as a "pro-life, pro-family and pro-freedom" candidate and told CBC News he will go against the current city council's agenda, which he says will result in the middle class owning nothing.

Shaw lists "holding COVID inquiries and investigations" among his priorities. He also says he would focus on lowering taxes by 2026 and stop Mississauga from ever becoming a 15-minute city.

Click here to learn more about the Shaw campaign.

George Tavares

George Tavares won more than 5,000 votes in the 2022 mayoral election and says if elected, he would tackle the city's biggest issues through "smarter decision-making processes."

"By fostering a culture of open dialogue, we can build a city that truly reflects the needs and aspirations of its communities," he told CBC News.

Tavares says the city faces "significant" challenges when it comes to housing, crime, transportation and building up new infrastructure.

You can find the Tavares campaign here.

Alvin Tedjo

Alvin Tedjo is the current councillor for Ward 2.

"In the past few years, families have started to find it harder and harder to afford to live in our city. We need an ambitious, future-oriented, and cost-effective plan to change this so that people can continue to live in Mississauga," he told CBC News.

Tedjo says his priorities are building more housing, building transit — you can read a breakdown of his plans here — and bringing a "sense of security" to those rattled by rising crime rates.

Tedjo is promising to freeze taxes for the next two years, if elected, by dipping into the city's reserves and also launching a vacant home tax.

Find out more about Tedjo's platform here.

Stephen Dasko: The current councillor for Ward 1 did not respond to the CBC News but you can find a platform breakdown here and his campaign website here.

Frank Fang: Fang did not respond, but you can find his platform here.

Xiaohua Gong: Gong didn't respond to the CBC News survey but yes, this is the same candidate that ran in last summer's Toronto mayoral byelection (he finished 11th with 2,983 votes).

Gong did outline his platform in a flyer sent to residents, images of which were posted online. Gong says in the flyer he would decrease property tax by one per cent, build 50,000 new affordable housing units and also "Launch Canada's first indoor Disneyland."

You can find his campaign site here.

Syed Jaffery: Jaffery did not respond, but you can find their campaign on Instagram.

Mohsin Khan: Khan did not respond and doesn't have a campaign website.

Mitchell MacEachern: MacEachern did not respond and doesn't have a campaign website.

Carolyn Parrish: The Ward 5 councillor did not respond to CBC News, but you can find a platform breakdown here. Parrish's campaign website is here.

Nathalie Xian Yi Yan: The candidate did not respond and doesn't have a campaign website.

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