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Mississauga News - Oct 25, 2006 - By John Stewart

Talk about transportation!

It tops the issues in radio debate

Transit was the only issue that Mississauga mayoralty candidates all mentioned when they gave 60-second pitches for votes in a mini-debate on CFRB Radio this morning.

The three candidates spoke, in alphabetical order, on the morning show hosted by Mississaugan Ted Woloshyn.

Speaking first, ratepayer activist Donald Barber pulled no punches, saying he had been arrested for writing the history of Mississauga and complaining that the City has sent its bylaw forces after him.

In the first instance, he was referring to a pending assault case against him laid following a City council meeting in November.  Earlier this week, his family received a bylaw infraction notice for not cleaning up bags and other materials in their backyard.

Barber complained that there are real issues in the election, including transit, which are being overshadowed by the "cult of personality of Hazel McCallion."

Her only campaign promise is, "to try to stay alive," he complained.  He also accused the mayor of "personally killing the subway" extension into Mississauga.

The incumbent mayor, seeking her 11th consecutive term, said she will concentrate on developing a more convenient, efficient transit system, developing the City's waterfront and its "wonderful" central Riverwood Park and making the city centre an exciting place to enjoy.

"We want to continue to attract more offices to create jobs, so people can live and work in the same community," said McCallion, "and we want to develop an active youth strategy."

Roy Willis, a 69-year-old veteran campaigner, complained that, "we've been talking about the same issues, crime, gridlock and taxes for 20 years.  Age is not the factor, issues are the factor," said the retired Port Credit resident.

"We send $544 million in pooling (for annual social service costs) to Toronto and that has to stop," Willis said.  "The mayor talks about transportation but everybody calls her the Queen of Sprawl.  She has stated publicly recently that the City of Mississauga blew parking. Transportation goes nowhere in Mississauga.  It goes around in circles."

The mayoralty candidates are scheduled to face each other next tonight at 7:15 p.m. at Green Glade Public School as part of a Ward 2 all-candidates' debate.

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