Ward 9 Mississauga

Standing for City Council

Following some serious thought and discussions: at home with my campaign team and supporters, and with folks from the Meadowvale and Central Erin Mills who had been speaking with me since late 2021, in early June I filed my nomination papers to become a candidate for City Councilor in Mississauga Ward 9.

Our western Mississauga communities of Meadowvale and Central Erin Mills need a seasoned and mature veteran to coordinate programs, services and resources that support Mississauga families and businesses. After 15 years in the Ontario Legislature, I know how programs and legislation that affect municipalities are created. I have learned how to work with our city, and to deal effectively with the Province. I know and have worked with the key stakeholders affected by the City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel. Moving forward, we need to work together to deal with:

  • How the city can ensure development includes affordable housing options;
  • How our hospitals, and their provincial and private funders will more effectively serve a maturing population in communities folks moved to, and stayed, after their families grew up;
  • Development in a built-up are and how the city and regional plans will provide for the services and infrastructure improvements we need in the 2030s and beyond;
  • Working with the Peel Police to keep the ‘personal touch’ in our community and ensure trust continues to build;
  • Working with businesses, our cities and other regions to attract investment and build relationships among partners the federal and provincial government may not see as priorities.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, with big bills to pay, inflation to tackle, housing to provide, climate change to factor in and a changed and multi-polar world to live within, cities need to raise their game and challenge the status-quo.

Skills and experience to do what’s important

It’s time to focus on city hall again. Housing prices may be dampened by rising interest rates, but municipal zoning needs review everywhere. Are there industrial or commercial areas available to be re-zoned for denser residential housing, or crown land that could be acquired and converted to housing developments?.

I worked with Ontario to successfully get more than $250 million to build the comprehensive Phase 2 expansion, now fully in service for several years, at Credit Valley Hospital. My work as your MPP taught me how to get a decision from the federal and provincial government.

Are the right things being done by the right levels of government? In particular, should regional governments created some 50 years ago to provide basic services for unincorporated, then-rural, towns and cities around Toronto devolve some of their responsibilities to what are now fully-mature cities? In Peel Region, for example, must the region also manage some roads along with its constituent cities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon? Could public health be managed better, and be more locally responsive, if delivered by the municipalities than by the regions considering our experience battling COVID-19? We need to challenge the status-quo.

The 21st century’s global wealth creation engines will be cities. In Canada, cities are the creatures of the provinces. Municipal funding consists largely of development charges, property taxes and user fees. For the scope of 21st century municipal responsibilities and resident expectations, this is nowhere near adequate. Shifting times, changing politics and economic cycles bring municipal programs that vary across Canada, and are subject to the whims of federal and provincial governments.

What cities will need moving forward

I am able to bring a strong blend of public and private sector experience, education and training, and hands-on knowledge of the type of 21st century skills our businesses and our people need to government. I will get to work on day one.

Canadian cities need to work with the federal and provincial governments to make our base funding fairer, and to structurally share federal and provincial tax revenue with the municipalities in which the economic activity is generated. Our city councilors need to think outside the traditional about how to pay for growth, renewal and maintenance.

As cities de-carbonize and electrify, we need to shift away from car-intensive traffic, work with the private sector to provide battery-charging infrastructure, establish proper transit corridors to enable people to leave their cars at home, and be able to generate (and soon store) the electricity we need to power it all locally.

The very way we look at building design will change. Millions of homes will need – and desire – retrofitting to use energy efficiently and cost-effectively. Municipal governments must lead this process and keep it in their sights moving forward.

Building the changing world of the 2020s will require municipal councils to be teams of smart and dedicated men and women working together to address challenging, exciting and complex times. The next term on city council won’t be a time to coast on your record, defend the status quo, or shrink from the challenges faced by every city on earth. What’s going on at city hall? It’s a question every resident, every voter, must ask to inform themselves during the summer and early autumn.

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