Municipal Election: October 25, 2010

** WARD 5 MUNICIPAL BY-ELECTION **  Monday, September 19, 2011.  The City has issued a Press Release announcing the date for the by-election (and advance polls) to fill the Ward 5 Councillor seat on Mississauga Council, vacated subsequent to the 2010 Municipal Election.  See the MIRANET article: Ward 5 By-election: Monday, September 19, 2011.
As stated in our Terms of Reference (section 10): "MIRANET is a non-partisan organization, and does not endorse any specific candidate seeking public office, nor any political party."
2010 OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS:  Results for Mississauga's Trustee, Councillor and Mayoral contests are posted on the City's VOTE 2010 Election Results webpage. Click for the Detailed Poll by Poll Results Report (54p PDF).
On November 24, 2010, Council unanimously passed a Motion for a Recount of the Ward 1 election results, which was conducted on December 7, 2010 in the Great Hall at City Hall. See TOPCA's Election webpage for updates and media reports about the recount. THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION ARE UNCHANGED.
ELECTORAL PROCESS: Janice Baker, City Manager - Press release (Dec. 6, 2010): Media Statement. Excerpt: "The City of Mississauga is confident that we have fully followed our election processes and protocols as mandated and to the highest standards possible. We understand Peel Regional Police are currently conducting an investigation into the matter of allegations against the City's electoral process. We welcome this investigation and are fully cooperating with them. This is an attack on the City’s reputation and we await the outcome of this investigation to put to rest any question about the integrity of this election. We stand behind the election process and thoroughly challenge the claims brought against us."

WHY BOTHER TO VOTE? Hey, no rush, your chance to vote comes up again in four years ... you may as well wait for 2014. The candidates will be perfect by then and more worthy of your vote, right?

Meanwhile, over the next four years, you won't have any reason to complain to City Hall about your property taxes or civic services or political representation -- because if you did, as a non-voter you'd look pretty silly and hypocritical, eh? Just continue to pay the freight (thanks) to keep the City running, and don't trouble yourself about who got elected and how your tax dollars are spent.

Make no mistake, candidates WILL be elected on October 25, even without your ballot. Remember this: if you don't vote, whoever wins office won't feel accountable to YOU, at all. You won't exist to the office-holders, because you didn't vote. Candidates have access to detailed polling data after Elections, and know where the voters are.

But wait.... You want your kids to be able to live and work in Mississauga when they grow up? You want your parents to be able to stay and thrive in their community as they age? And you actually do want a say in the future direction of our City?

When you vote you are no longer just a "resident" or an "occupant" but a CITIZEN, who not only has rights but who exercises civic responsibilities. By voting, you say that you are paying attention, that you care about our City and that you are engaged in the transition to realize our collective Vision.

Regardless HOW you vote, just the fact that you DO is the most powerful statement you can make as a citizen. The one thing you have that politicians want is your VOTE. And by voting, together we can attract and inspire future candidates to come forward to EARN our votes -- candidates who are excited by the possibility of serving in a City where citizens are informed and engaged.

The recent ridicule of Mississauga by some in the Toronto media largely centres on our low voter turnout. When we don't vote, we perpetuate such disdain. Elections are about us. More Votes = More Accountability, to us.

All political decisions are -- no surprise -- political, as we have seen with the recent provincial decision to cancel the gas-fired power plant in the Southwest GTA. In this case, the threat of defeat at the polls in next year's provincial election proved to be a great political motivator.

Voting is the most basic yet most effective political tool at our disposal. Choose to be an active citizen NOW. And don't just consider this election a dry-run -- the next four years are pivotal. Stake your claim in the public process by casting your ballot on Monday, October 25th.
MIRANET Letter: Mississauga News (Oct. 14, 2010): Get out and vote.
Don McVie, Vice-president, PCVRA: Our future: Easy come, easy go?
Lisgar Residents' Association: Mississauga Municipal Election 2010.
TELEVISED MAYORAL DEBATE: MIRANET sponsored a televised Mayoral Debate on Rogers TV for candidates who accepted MIRANET's invitation and agreed to MIRANET's Mayoral Debate Policies and Rules. Taping was on October 5, 2010 at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), and the 2-hour Debate was broadcast 7 times.

Leaving so soon? 2010 Mayoral Candidates (L-R) Peter Orphanos, Hazel McCallion, Dave Cook, George Winter, Andrew Seitz and Ram Selvarajah share a laugh after the Debate, and a pact, that none of them will exploit this image of being seen together in any of their campaign literature.  Click here for the brief Biographies of the participating candidates (supplied).

PHOTOS: Click here for PHOTO ALBUM from the Debate (12p PDF).

VIDEO: Click here for the UTM/TV video posting of the first 17 minutes of the Debate, which includes the Mayoral Candidates' responses to the FIRST QUESTION (about Toronto media coverage of Mississauga), and the Candidates' OPENING STATEMENTS.

The UTM venue uniquely accommodated the participating candidates, the MIRANET panelists and the media around a large conference table, with an invited audience of UTM political science students and representatives from various residents' associations.

Toronto Sun article (Oct. 17, 2010): Hazel defends her City.

Toronto Star editorial (Oct. 7, 2010): A healthier campaign.
Excerpt: "There are welcome signs of a political thaw in Mississauga, with long-serving Mayor Hazel McCallion participating in a televised election debate on Tuesday. In previous elections, McCallion repeatedly won by landslides without bothering to campaign or even release a platform. Frankly, that sort of low-bridge campaign doesn't make for a healthy democracy."

Mississauga News article (Oct. 6, 2010): Excluded candidates cry foul.

Mississauga News article (Oct. 5, 2010): Debates generate complaints.

Mississauga News article (Oct. 5, 2010): Strict rules thin herd at Mayoral debate.

Mississauga News article (Oct. 4, 2010): Mayoral debate set at UTM.

Toronto Star article (Oct. 5, 2010): Mississauga marks first mayoral debate.

National Post article (Oct. 6, 2010): Mayoral rivals gang up on McCallion.

Globe and Mail article (Oct. 6, 2010): Mississauga mayoral candidates set sights on Hurricane Hazel.
DEBATE FORMAT: The moderated, citizen-driven format allowed for serious discussion and debate on several key themes affecting the future of our City: transportation, neighbourhoods, development, business & employment, public spaces, social supports, environment, governance, fiscal management and Regional context.

In the interests of fairness we did not consulting any candidate with regard to the format, which was partly dependent on the number of candidates who ultimately attended. Mayoral Candidates were asked to confirm their participation and e-mail their maximum 500-word platform statements to allow time to plan the format. Candidates also had to formally agree to accept MIRANET's Mayoral Debate Policies and Rules.

Any queries received from the candidates prior to the Debate were considered by MIRANET's Mayoral Debate Committee and the answers e-mailed to all candidates. Click here to view the Questions received and the Answers sent to all Mayoral Candidates as of September 27, 2010.

Included in the format was a round-robin series of mini-debates between subsets of the candidates (3 at a time, in different combinations) on topics drawn by lot. Questions were also contributed by the UTM students in attendance.

NOTE: MIRANET was the sponsor, organizer and manager of the Mayoral Debate on October 5, 2010. Inasmuch as Rogers TV agreed to provide television coverage of our Debate event, we worked collaboratively to ensure it could be technically produced, and that our policies meshed with Rogers TV procedures.
DEBATE QUESTIONS: We kicked things off by getting right into a critical issue that positions the stake we all have in being part of this Debate. We published the FIRST question in advance to be fair to all Candidates (i.e. the first Candidate to answer would be as prepared as the last).

Preamble: Recently the Toronto media have been highly critical of Mississauga and its citizens. Christopher Hume, a columnist for the Toronto Star, wrote in September: "Mississauga remains an abjectly car-dependent community that faces an uncertain future. ... Not that most Mississaugans give a damn; only about one-quarter of voters bothered to cast a ballot in the last election. ... The lack of public discussion and opposition, the infrequent exchange of ideas, and the overwhelming sense of complacency do not bode well for Mississauga." Subsequently, another Toronto Star columnist Angelo Persichilli wrote: "Mississauga is a city without an identity. ... It’s basically a comfortable dormitory, heaven for developers, yet still with public housing problems. ... I see nothing but trouble on the horizon for Mississauga."

FIRST QUESTION: Such ridicule costs every citizen of Mississauga, from our property values to our civic self-esteem to where our children decide to live. In your view, does Mississauga's reality align with these criticisms, and if not, what should be done to change Mississauga's image?

SECOND QUESTION: to all Candidates: Why are you running for Mayor? This afforded time for what is traditionally known as the 'Opening Statement'.

The following ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS were among those prepared by MIRANET in advance, and were randomly drawn for each mini-debate:

  1. Many municipalities find themselves in difficult financial circumstances as they attempt to maintain service levels without excessive tax increases. What alternative sources of municipal revenue would you propose?

  2. Given that as Mayor you will be sitting on Regional Council, what steps would you take to reverse the outcome of twenty years of inadequate resources for issues such as child poverty, homelessness and social housing?

  3. Do you support using photo radar at traffic intersections?

  4. Conventional wisdom has it that development levies are drying up in the transition from greenfield to infill development. What role can future development play in funding community infrastructure and amenities?

  5. We have a dynamic Strategic Plan and thousands of community volunteers. How would you use the resources of the City to assist volunteers, to improve interaction and quality of life in Mississauga's neighbourhoods?

  6. As Mayor, how would you address the issues of Mississauga Transit with respect to frequency, reliability and routes? Given it takes some UTM students 1.5 hours to reach the campus by bus, how would you improve bus service?

  7. Does Mississauga need a Deputy mayor, and if so, how should this person be selected and what should this position's responsibilities include?

  8. As Mayor, how would you deal effectively with developers to ensure projects fit in with the community's vision and our City's Strategic Plan?

  9. If you could change one area of provincial control over municipalities, what would it be, and why?

  10. Should Mississauga be part of the Region of Peel? If you are elected Mayor, what would your position be?

CLOSING STATEMENTS: allowed all Candidates to rebut anything they heard, address questions they were not asked, clarify anything they had said and summarize their platform in the process.

MIRANET DEPUTATION: The MIRANET 2010 Municipal Election Subcommittee made a Deputation (click to view) before Mississauga City Council on April 14, 2010 regarding the City of Vaughan (Ontario) Task Force report entitled: Task Force on Democratic Participation and Renewal: Final Report, as well as MIRANET's mission for the coming municipal election in Mississauga. Excerpt: "We ask the Mayor and members of Council to share your experience and your views on the accountability and effectiveness of our current form of regional government. ... We ask our City Council to go beyond the ambitions of the Vaughan Task Force report by not only giving citizens better ways to cast their ballots, but also by engaging with us on the Regional question and working together to ensure the accountability to our votes, and to our tax dollars."

MAP of Municipal Wards in Mississauga with 2006-2010 Councillors.

MAP of Municipal Wards in Mississauga, linked to PDSB (Public) Trustees.

MAP of Municipal Wards in Mississauga with D-PCDSB (Catholic) Trustees.
NOTE (1): A provincial review of the Ontario Municipal Elections Act, 1996 was undertaken in 2009, with reforms enacted on January 1, 2010. Click here for the MIRANET background article which includes links to discussions of the changes, as well as MIRANET's input to the process. Click here to view the MIRANET submission (dated August 31, 2009).

Click here to view The Municipal Elections 2010 Guide which consolidates the enacted reforms.

NOTE (2): Click to view the November 2009 report of the City of Vaughan (Ontario) Task Force entitled: Task Force on Democratic Participation and Renewal: Final Report, as distributed to GTA municipalities and the the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). The Task Force was appointed in 2007 with a mandate to make recommendations for increasing voter turnout in Vaughan in the next municipal election.

See also MIRANET article: