Veteran politician Carolyn Parrish wins Mississauga mayoral byelection

Mississauga has a new mayor, and her name is Carolyn Parrish. She won Monday night's byelection in convincing fashion to become the city's third mayor in nearly 50 years. Our Michelle Mackey recaps an historic night in Mississauga

Veteran politician Carolyn Parrish is Mississauga’s next mayor.

The former Mississauga councillor and MP is leading the byelection by over 8,500 votes with 99 per cent of polls reported. Parrish will become only the fifth mayor in the city’s history.

“I want to thank the citizen’s of Mississauga for placing their trust in me and your voice have been hear. Together, we will build a brighter and more inclusive future for our city,” said Parrish in her victory speech.

Parrish noted with her election, Peel Region now has three mayors who “actually get along.”

“We will be formidable when we go to Queen’s Park or to Ottawa to tell the, we need our fair share of funding here,” said Parrish.

The need to fill the vacancy came on Jan. 12 when Bonnie Crombie resigned after she won the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. More than 24,000 voters cast their vote during advance voting.

Parrish spent around 12 years as a Member of Parliament representing Mississauga, first as a Liberal before becoming an independent representative.

She then switched to municipal politics in 2014 where she remained until this past March when Parrish vacated her seat as Ward 5 councillor to run for mayor.

Premier Doug Ford congratulated Parrish on the win in a social media post. “I’m looking forward to working with you as we build a stronger Mississauga and a stronger Ontario,” read his statement on X.

A woman has held the top job in Mississauga since 1978 when Hazel McCallion was first elected. Crombie replaced her in 2014 after she retired.

Out of the pack of 20 people running to become the next mayor, Parrish held a lead in polls for most of the election.

Recent polls had indicated her lead had declined following her decision to not take part in candidate debates, allowing city councillors former Ontario Liberal MPP Dipika Damerla and Ward 2 councillor Alvin Tedjo to close the gap, but it seem it wasn’t enough to pull ahead.

Tedjo currently has the second most votes behind Parrish with just under 35,000 with Damerla collecting just over 27,000.

Both will remain on city council following the election.

Other notable candidates included Ward 1 councillor Stephen Dasko, who finished fourth with over 22,000 votes and Brian Crombie, the ex-husband of Bonnie Crombie.

An election to fill the Ward 5 council seat left empty in mid-March when Parrish resigned to run for mayor also took place today. Natalie Hart won with just over 3,700 votes.

The byelection winner will serve as mayor for the remainder of the 2022-2026 term. 

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