There is not much excitement forecast for the upcoming municipal elections in Ontario on October 24. The exception is likely to be the mayoralty in Brampton. The current mayor, Patrick Brown, has decided to run for re-election and a fierce fight is brewing. He is hardly your usual conservative mayor.
Brampton is a city passing 700,000 in population with more than 40 per cent of the population having ties to the Indian Sub-continent. Brown, who is from Barrie, Ontario and a former member of parliament for Simcoe County electoral districts has ties to this south Asian contingent of voters. One of his promises to the Sikh community, to first get elected mayor of Brampton, was to convert more of Brampton’s beautiful parks into cricket pitches.
It was his ties to this south Asian diaspora that led Brown from federal politics to Ontario politics. He swamped the membership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party with south Asian sign-ups and, for a while, was leader of the Ontario conservatives. There was considerable agreement when he stepped down from the provincial leadership and sought solace in municipal politics—first in Peel County and then, selectively, in Brampton.
Brown really knows very little about anything other than politics. He had no trouble defeating the incumbent mayor in Brampton. It provided him with a comfortable catbird seat from which to keep his name alive through the media. He bode his time and jumped into the federal conservative leadership. That adventure was a story on its own. He only signed up 100,000 new (and probably temporary) conservatives. He also got himself ejected from the race.
But Brown is back in Brampton running again for mayor. This time, Brown is facing five other challengers for the mayoralty. Three of the opponents have Sikh names.
The most interesting of Brown’s opponents is Nikki Kaur (Kaur means princess in Punjabi). Ms. Kaur is a lawyer and an employee of the municipality who was fired and then re-instated. She is supported by people such as Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie, former liberal premier Dalton, McGinty and conservative apparatchik Nick Kouvalis, who is also helping run John Tory’s mayoralty campaign in Toronto.
It could spell continued bad times for Brown.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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