After months of waiting, provincial election campaigning has finally begun across Ontario.
Since May 9, various political party leaders from the Liberals, PCs, NDP and Greens, as well as their local candidates, have fanned out across the province and into your local neighbourhood, asking for your vote on June 7.
It’s been said that the road to power at Queen’s Park runs through the 905. Former premiers Mike Harris, Dalton McGuinty, and current incumbent Kathleen Wynne all formed their majority governments with seats in Mississauga and Brampton, as well as neighbouring Halton, York and Durham regions.
Brampton is receiving three additional seats for the 2018 election, and is no longer sharing one riding with Mississauga. Hence, there are a lot of new faces running.
Photo courtesy of Elections Canada
To familiarize yourself with the candidates in your riding, here is a brief primer on who is running for which party in local ridings in Brampton.
The governing Liberals are running businessman Safdar Hussain, while the Tories are fielding real estate broker Harjit Jaswal. Rounding out the field is NDP candidate Sara Singh, Green candidate Laila Zarrabi Yan, None of the Above Party candidate Mehdi Pakzad, Libertarian Andrew Hosie, and Trillium Party candidate Bill Oprel.
Brampton Centre was the focus of some attention when Toronto city councillor Giorgio Mammoliti announced he would be running for the PC nomination here. Mammoliti later backed out, saying his constituents were begging him to remain in his current job. The Toronto councillor has since registered to run for re-election in his North York ward.
Too bad we couldn’t be graced with Mammo’s presence in Brampton. Now we’ll just have to settle for listening to what these candidates have to offer the people of Brampton Centre, like what people should do instead of having a sideshow like Mammo distracting us all.
UPDATE: an earlier version of this paragraph mentioned that Hussain was a local lawyer. A reader pointed out that he was only trained as a lawyer and not licensed to practice. We regret the error.
This riding used to be called Bramalea-Gore-Malton and was once represented by current federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. With Singh’s departure to the federal stage, the Liberals and the NDP have put forward rather high profile candidates to contest this riding.
Dr. Parminder Singh, the founder of Hockey Night in Punjabi, will be the Liberals’ candidate and the NDP are running a familiar name as well: Jagmeet’s brother Gurratan Singh, who was nominated last month to try to keep the riding in NDP hands, as it is the only seat the party holds in Peel Region.
Also running is the Tories’ Sudeep Verma, the Greens’ Raquel Fronte, and Libertarian candidate Daniele Cerasoli.
UPDATE: the previous PC candidate was Simmer Sandhu, but as of the evening of May 16 he stepped aside as the candidate after he became linked to allegations of internet data theft at his former place of employment at 407 ETR, affecting 60,000 customers. Sandhu has denied the allegations; Verma was selected by the PC party to replace him.
Liberal MPP Harinder Malhi, who represented Brampton Springdale at the dissolution of the legislature, is running for re-election in this new riding. Malhi was first elected in 2014, succeeding Linda Jeffrey, who is now mayor.
Also running in this new riding is Ripudaman Dhillon of the PCs, Kevin Yarde from the NDP, Green Party candidate Pauline Thornham, NOTA candidate Mackinder Samrai, and Libertarian Gregory Argue.
Another riding that will be electing a new MPP, the Liberals are running mortgage specialist and party volunteer Sukhwant Thethi. He will face PC candidate Prabmeet Sakaria, a corporate lawyer from Miller Thomson who holds the distinction of being the first nominated candidate for his party in Brampton.
The NDP are running their own lawyer, Paramjit Gill. Other candidates are the Libertarian candidate Brian Watson, and John Grant from the Trillium Party.
The other Liberal incumbent, Vic Dhillon, will be looking to hold onto a riding he’s held since 2007. Dhillon is facing PC candidate Amarjot Sandhu, the NDP’s Jagroop Singh, the Greens’ Julie Guillemet-Ackerman, the Libertarians’ David Shaw, Communist Surjit Sahota and Heather Welch of the Trillium Party.
Ontarians go to the polls on June 7.
Headshots courtesy of candidates’ social media accounts and party websites.