Move aside Toronto politicians, all eyes on Mississauga’s race

shoynearmorrison-onlineShoynear Morrison
Life Editor

Who gives a crap about Mississauga? Apparently no one. That’s the way I feel as I turn on my TV and see how focused the media is on Toronto elections.

Mississauga has been blessed to have a mayor who has dedicated her life’s work to maximizing the suburb’s full potential. After being in office for over thirty years it’s time to bid farewell to Hurricane Hazel and allow a new leader to take her place. The 2014 municipal elections will be the first time in over three decades that Hazel McCallion will not be running.

To my dismay it seems like no one cares.

I understand that the infamous Rob Ford and his outlandish antics have gained international recognition and therefore the current elections have a strong public interest. Although Rob Ford is out of the race due to unfortunate medical issues, the three frontrunners – John Tory, Doug Ford, and Olivia Chow – are grabbing all the media attention.

Mississauga has a strong enough presence in the GTA that a historical moment such as Hazel’s retirement deserves to be noticed. With a population over 600,000 and hence one of the largest cities in Canada, Mississauga has tens of thousands of businesses that employ hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom commute in from all across the GTA.

The intentions of each candidate running in Mississauga deserve to be in the media spotlight, in order to help voters make informed decisions.

My residency is not the only personal connection I have to the Mississauga election. My sister is currently going through a legal battle with one of the Mississauga mayoral candidates by the name of Grant Isaac. Mr. Isaac has failed to pay her for her student legal assistance and has refused to answer many of her phone calls. Due to Mr. Isaac’s inability to communicate effectively, this matter will now be settled in small claims court. Feeling disgusted that a mayoral candidate would attempt to take advantage of a student, I tried connecting with many media outlets for their support in exposing Mr. Isaac’s behaviour. I felt that Mississauga residents deserved to know what Mr. Isaac (especially if elected as their future mayor) is capable of.

Unfortunately, I only received a response from a CBC reporter. Being a resident of Mississauga herself, she advised me that she would love to cover the Grant Isaac story but is afraid her producers will not give her the required permission to proceed further with it. The reason behind the production rejection was due to the Toronto-centric requirement of current news angles.

This is strong evidence that major media outlets don’t put a very high importance on the Mississauga election. Even those reporters who do care to cover the story face rejection from higher up.

I grew up in the city of Mississauga and have lived there my entire life. To me Mississauga without Hazel McCallion is almost unthinkable. I approach the future days of this city with great trepidation wondering what will happen with new leadership. Therefore, I want to hear about what each mayoral candidate has to say. Hazel McCallion is concluding her reign as mayor with a notable legacy and we should know how these candidates plan on protecting that legacy. Why should it be harder for me to find information about my current municipal election just because my mayor hasn’t displayed extreme asinine behaviour. Electoral media attention is conducive to creating an educated voter. Why does the onus now fall onto the citizens of Mississauga to educate themselves.  I give a crap about the city of Mississauga – I just wish the media did, too.