Brampton mayoral hopeful Patrick Brown hits campaign mode

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Instead of being the head honcho at Queen’s Park, former PC party leader and Brampton mayoral candidate Patrick Brown is in campaign mode hoping to be the city’s next mayor.

He is currently pushing back against the perception that his ties to Brampton are at best shallow.

In a media report recently, Brown pointed out that his dad has been a Brampton resident for 40 years and not just that, Brown has always loved the community, and he could probably love the city even more if he is elected mayor.

If you hope to make any inroads into Brampton, a mandatory stop at a gurdwara is the norm and so a visit to the Malton gurdwara was on the agenda even though Malton is not technically in Brampton. He attended an event there which happened to be a muscular dystrophy charity drive hosted by Brampton firefighters.

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Brown is hoping to unseat current incumbent Linda Jeffrey, mayor since 2014 and a one-time Liberal MPP at Queen’s Park.

But while Brown’s father has roots in Brampton, he himself has deep roots in Barrie where he served as an MP during Stephen Harper’s government and later as an MPP in the nearby riding of Simcoe North. He says he now lives in Brampton with his fiancé “across from Gage Park” and that they will stay in the city even if he loses his bid for the mayor’s seat. Perhaps hoping to run in future elections. Brown has a large support base among a section of South Asians and that support is what he hopes will be crucial in determining his political future.

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Brown is campaigning on curbing both taxes and crime, reducing traffic gridlock and securing a “fair share” of funding for hospitals, schools and transit projects.

He points to the fact that Scarborough is set to receive a $4.6 billion subway extension, while only about $200 million has been put aside for light rail in Brampton. Similarly, he says, the province recently committed $25 million to combat firearm-related crime in Toronto and Ottawa, while Brampton, where crime is “through the roof,” received nothing.

This mayoral election will be very interesting to watch as there is a real showdown looming between a strong incumbent and a scrappy challenger.

Meanwhile in Mississauga, current mayor Bonnie Crombie is expected to coast to victory as no one strong is running against her unless you consider the provocative and controversial Kevin J. Johnston who has yet to make his presence felt. -CINEWS

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