Mississauga: The local community activist, Masood Khan, is up in arms about Councillor Bonnie Crombie’s campaign to become Mayor. In a letter to Mayor Hazel McCallion, he has alleged that Crombie has broken rules as a sitting Councillor and demanded that Coucillor must step down before running for Mayor’s position. McCallion, not one to shy away from a controversy, promptly wrote back the following:
“Dear Mr. Khan:
This will acknowledge receipt of your letter dated July 7, 2014 regarding Councillor Bonnie Crombie and her decision to seek candidacy for Mayor of the City of Mississauga in this year’s municipal election, while continuing to serve as Councillor for Ward 5.
You suggest in your letter that “any member of Council wishing to run for the Mayor’s position must first resign from their present position”. This assertion is not supported by law. For your information, Councillors are under no obligation to vacate their seat under the Municipal Elections Act and as such, Councillor Crombie has every right to seek candidacy for Mayor while continuing to fulfill her duty as the Council representative for Ward 5, as she was elected to do by her constituents. You may also be interested to know that under the Municipal Act, 2001 members of Council who are a registered candidate in a provincial or federal election also do not have to vacate their Council seat. I have attempted to change the legislation in this regard to prevent costly by-elections but have been unsuccessful to date.
In regard to recent findings of the Integrity Commissioner relating to Councillor Crombie, while he found there was a violation, it was deemed to be an inadvertent one and as she was quick to rectify the situation, he recommended no further action be taken. He also added that with the increase of social media and its role in municipal elections, which are still being understood, that he was willing to give the Councillor and her staff the benefit of the doubt, which is fair in my opinion.
Your assertion that Councillor Crombie, continuing to act as Ward Councillor while running for Mayor, is somehow unethical is unfounded in my view. By that argument, every single member of City Council who is seeking re-election should then also resign. If that were the case, the residents of Mississauga would have no representation on Council in an election year and the official business of the City would be seriously hampered.
While you are entitled to your personal opinion, I do not support your request to demand Councillor Crombie’s resignation nor do I feel that her continued role as Ward Councillor will in any way compromise the electoral process.
It will be up to the voters on Election Day to cast their ballot for the mayoral candidate who they feel best serves their interests and the interests of the City, which is the democratic process. The democratic process, by which municipal officials are elected, is open, transparent and responsible, and fair to all who wish to put their name forward as a candidate.”
The Mayor’s letter defines, according to many, is a strong endorsement of Crombie’s candidacy by the grand old lady of Mississauga, and is likely to have a beneficial impact on Crombie’s campaign. But not wanting to be upstaged completely, Khan added the following rejoinder:
“Good morning Madam Mayor and thank you so much for writing back to me. I read the decision of the integrity Commissioner Mr. Robert Swayze who found Bonnie Crombie has violated Rule 6 of the code that relates to elections but recommended no punishment for her. It is hard to say whether her action was deliberate or inadvertent as Mr. Swayze noted.
I am also aware of the law that politicians do not need to resign from their position held to run for another political office but who are the law makers? Same politicians and they will put their interest on top of the voters’ interest who would like a fair and square system and not a tainted campaign.
I do not deny the fact that Ms. Crombie has all the right to run for any political office but as a voter who has been religiously voting in Mississauga since 1976, I’d like to see one day that all politicians first resign from their position to run for another political office so that we, the voters feel that they have no advantage over the other candidates.
I don’t agree with you that seeking re-election for the same political office is similar to this scenario and I also do not agree with you that appointing a citizen Councillor for 3 months is costly. In fact, Mississauga has done it in the past and Toronto has recently appointed two citizen Councillors on vacant seats in the Council.
In my opinion, it would have been credible thing for Ms. Crombie to resign because of this violation and am sure, like me, more voters will raise transparency of her campaign once the citizens of Mississauga start feeling the heat of this election.”
Joint statement from the Greater Toronto Area & Hamilton Mayors and Chairs
We are united in fighting COVID-19 – protecting our residents and saving lives.
While the measures we have taken to stop the spread of the virus have made a difference, this virus has still taken far too many lives in our communities and continues to threaten the lives of our residents.
At the same time, there is no denying the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Jobs have been lost, many businesses have closed or are at risk of closure, and many families are worried about their financial future.
We’ve been hit hard but that’s why it is so important that we keep moving forward and come back as strong as possible.
Today, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs met to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on the region and how our municipalities can work together on the economic restart and recovery.
We know the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area alone is projected to lose 355,000 jobs and 28% of GDP along with $894 million in lost wages and $3.7 billion in revenue losses for businesses. This will be felt right across the GTHA but it also threatens the provincial and national economies.
A strong recovery right here in the GTHA is crucial to healing the economic damage done by COVID-19 and helping the families and businesses all governments have been working to protect throughout this emergency.
Ontario’s economy and Canada’s economy need the GTHA to come back stronger than ever when the restart begins.
We are determined to deliver this recovery and we agreed today that the GTHA municipalities will be working together to successfully and smoothly reopen our vital regional economy when the time comes.
We also discussed how we can in a consistent way achieve significant, necessary financial support from the other governments to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect our ability to contribute to the recovery. A strong recovery needs strong cities and regional governments.
We have agreed we will work together to share information about our respective financial positions and explore together measures we can advocate to the other governments which will help to ensure the financial stability of local and regional governments in the GTHA.
Our child care and recreation programs help parents get back to work.
Our emergency services keep people safe.
Our transit systems get people to work and home safely.
Our major infrastructure projects – often built in conjunction with the other governments – will help kick-start the recovery and create countless jobs.
Our economic development activities attract jobs and investment.
We built a strong and vibrant GTHA and we know that we will need to come back even stronger and as quickly as we can in order to keep Canada’s economy going.
With the cooperation and support of the provincial and federal governments, we are ready to rise to this challenge.”
Four People Charged in Mississauga Pedestrian Fail to Remain Fatality
Investigators from the Major Collision Bureau have charged four people in Mississauga’s most recent fatal fail to remain collision.
On Thursday, February 15, 2018, at approximately 8:40 p.m., the victim, a 61 year-old female from Mississauga, was struck by a south bound vehicle as she was crossing Mavis Road in the area of Knotty Pine Grove in the City of Mississauga. The vehicle did not remain and the victim, having suffered major injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Saturday, February 17, 2018 shortly before 7:00 p.m., Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM, a 60 year-old male from Brampton, and the driver believed to be responsible in this incident, surrendered to police at 22 Division. Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM has since been charged with Fail to Remain Cause Death.
Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, a 25 year old female from Brampton, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN a 28 year-old female from Brampton and Gowtham SATKUNARAJAH a 28 year-old male from Brampton have each been charged with Accessory After the Fact in relation to this incident.
Satchithanantha VAITHILINGAM will answer to his charge on March 12, 2018. Hivissa SATCHITHANANTHAN, Shajeetha SATCHITHANANTHAN andGowtham SATKUNARAJAH will answer to their charges on Monday March 26, 2018 at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision, have dashboard video footage of the incident or who may have any information regarding this incident is asked to contact investigators with the Major Collision Bureau at (905) 453-2121, ext. 3710. Information may also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting www.peelcrimestoppers.ca or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word ‘PEEL’ and then your tip.
Justin Trudeau in India: Hug missing! Mounting pressure?
The much publicized and anticipated visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to India was marred with questions. The questions were centered on the kind of welcome he would be given in the Sikh dominated state of Punjab. Also the famous hug by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being anticipated. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally made his much-touted visit to India. He landed on the Indira Gandhi Airport, New Delhi only to be received by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat not even a Cabinet Minister in Narendra Modi’s government.
He is presently the second rank Minister of State for Agriculture. That comes in complete contrast to the warmth that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his NDA government has generally displayed towards the visiting dignitaries. Only a couple of weeks ago, when the heads of the 10 ASEAN states arrived in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t receive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the airport, as he has previously done with many leaders including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe, and Benjamin Netanyahu.
The fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t join him is all surprising even when Prime Minister Trudeau visited Gujarat. This is unusual because the Indian Prime Minister has set a trend that he always accompanies head of the state when they visit his home state.
Even Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath did not show up, let alone accompany Prime Minister Trudeau to the Taj. However, during Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 15 January visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra, Yogi Adityanath had received Netanyahu and his wife and shown them around as well as hosted a lunch for them. For first three days, none from the executive or the elected representative held any meeting with the delegation.
Media in India is trying to spread a message that the cold treatment given by Prime Minister could be because two of the four Sikh members of Trudeau’s cabinet – Harjit Sajjan and Amarjeet Sohi – support the Khalistan movement. However, had that been the case his visit to Punjab would have got a similar response. However, the Punjab Government led by Captain Amarinder Singh rolled out a red carpet during his stay at Amritsar and even the two leaders held some fruitful discussions.
Thus putting an end to those criticisms that that Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit was devoid of any warmth. Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh, for instance who met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau setting aside his earlier prejudice that he exhibited during the visit of Defence Minister Harjeet Singh Sajjan.
In recent months, Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) in Canada, the United States and Australia have banned Indian officials from visiting gurudwaras and the moment started with Gurudwaras here in Toronto. Could that be the reason for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not accord one of the warmest welcomes that he is known to provide? Or the use by Canada’s parliament of the term genocide to describe mass killings of Sikhs in India in 1984 has left the Indian Prime Minister disturbed? However, more than Prime Minister Modi, this could have left the Congress party in troubled waters, but that was also not the case as Amarinder Singh hails from the same party.
The lukewarm welcome to Prime Minister Trudeau can have its political ramifications too. Will it hamper the significant 2015 deal, in which Canada agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of Uranium to power India’s atomic reactors?
Somewhere Prime Minister Modi has not taken the issue of non allowing entry of Indian officials to Gurudwaras and the statement on Genocide too lightly. Prime Minister Modi however has failed to understand that Canada cannot curtail the right of freedom of speech and expression of its citizen.
Two nations perhaps failed to resolve the matter before Prime Minister boarded the flight from Canada and not welcoming Prime Minister Trudeau could be a tactical decision to put pressure on him. With Prime Minister Modi preferring to meet him at the far end of the tour has conveyed a lot about the myopic approach of Prime Minister Modi.
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