Three Black Candidates Vie for Key Positions in Mississauga By-Election

Championing Community and Economic Growth

By Neil Armstrong

Three Black candidates are among 35 people running in the June 10 by-election in Mississauga.

Winston Harding

Jamaican businessman Winston Harding is seeking to become the mayor—a position that became vacant when mayor Bonnie Crombie resigned to become leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. Another Jamaican, entrepreneur and community builder Shelly Scott-England, and federal public servant Jordan Gray, who has a Trinidadian mother and a Mi’kmaw father, are among 15 candidates hoping to be the next city councillor for Ward 5—a position once held by Carolyn Parrish who is a front-runner in the race for mayor of that city.

Scott-England’s vision for Ward 5 includes four key pillars: affordable living, prioritizing public safety, neighbourhood services, and economic development.

Shelly Scott-England

She wants toeradicate food insecurity, food deserts, precarious housing, and general unaffordability while advocating for fairer car insurance rates. While knocking on doors and speaking with residents of Malton, Scott-England heard about “food deserts” — areas in which there is only one supermarket to service many people in the community.

“One of the proposals that I have is do a co-op supermarket, which is a supermarket that’s owned and managed by the people. The profit on that has the potential to be small, the community can decide how much of it they want to actually go back into the pocket of the community.”

Scott-England also wants toaddress crime and public safety, reckless and dangerous driving, and building safer sidewalks and roadways for families and seniors.

Where economic development is concerned, she wants to support small businesses, create new jobs, and attract business investment into the local economy.

As the co-owner of a business with her husband, she joined the Mississauga Board of Trade to try to establish some business connections. She missed working with children and education in Jamaica, so she got involved in BridgeWay Family Services where she was a board director.

Scott-England currently leads the City of Mississauga’s Black Caucus Alliance and is also a member of former Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie’s Community Advisory Board. In addition, she is a member of the Rotary Club of Mississauga, Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Women’s League, and past president of the Congress of Black Women of Canada.

She said what makes her stand out above the other candidates is that she has “an active listening ear, an action-oriented and collaborative nature, has empathy for people” and her “commitment to people.”

As the June 10 by-election draws near, Scott-England will hold two community events designed not just as fundraisers, but opportunities for people of Ward 5 to connect, discuss, and share in her vision for their area.

An afternoon of conversation and refreshment, “Shelly’s Tea Party Fundraiser,” will be held on May 19 at Nyla’s Room in Oakville. “Shelly’s Last Lap Brunch” will be on June 8 at her campaign office in Mississauga.

Jordan Gray

Jordan Gray was born in Mississauga and grew up in Ward 5. “For 12 years, Jordan has turned policy plans into reality in various roles within government. He managed a national office for First Nations housing with the federal government. He was responsible for an over $3 billion housing portfolio. Working as a housing professional, Jordan supported the construction of over 21,000 homes in 611 communities,” notes his website.

His plan includes “tax fairness and affordability, community safety, improve commutes, and support local businesses.”

Winston Harding, a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University, who ran for councillor for Ward 3 in 2022, has worked as a realtor and is also a member of the clergy who holds a doctorate in divinity.

He has written and published books of poetry. “These works reflect my deep-seated belief in the power of words to inspire and uplift,” notes his website.

Harding has lived in Mississauga for over 30 years which he said allowed him to immerse himself in the diverse culture of the city.

“I envision economic growth and development as crucial for the prosperity of this city. I will work to attract new businesses and industries to Mississauga, creating more job opportunities for our residents. I will also support local businesses, helping them thrive and grow,” says Harding on his mayoral campaign website.