Mississauga is getting smarter and inspiring other cities

Photo 1 – Downtown Mississauga. Courtesy: City of Mississauga

By Jandy Sales & Leila Monteiro Lins | Published 22/03/2018

For tens of thousands of people landing in Canada daily, Mississauga is the gateway into the country through Toronto Pearson International Airport.

With a population of just over 720,000, according to the 2016 census, Mississauga is the sixth largest city in the country and its location, in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, is considered strategic.

Mississauga is also a destination for thousands of people traveling on the major highways such as the Trans-Canada (401) in the province of Ontario. In addition to that, the country’s three main railways: Canadian National and Pacific Railway, as well as Metrolinx – also pass through the city.

Good governance and credibility teaming up to attract investments

The Cycling Master Plan – a project approved in 2010 with popular participation will be receiving $ 2.3 million dollars. The project aims to achieve the total integration of the Mississauga cycling network. The funds are part of the first installment to the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program.

In the field of education, the demand for university courses offered by the University of Toronto in Mississauga has been growing since 2002 to an average of 1,000 students per year.

For the fourteenth consecutive year, the city of Mississauga has been able to maintain a Triple-A credit rating which generates greater credibility in attracting investments. Not to mention that the city has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in North America.

David J Culham Trail. South of Burnhamthorpe Rd towards Dundas St  | Courtesy: City of Mississauga. 

With 480 parks and forests, Mississauga ended the year of 2017 on a good note.

Smart City

Mississauga is the first Canadian city to become a Virtual Campus, offering public digital access service to more than 80,000 post-secondary schools via Wi-Fi.

The city of Mississauga  has been strengthening the concept of Smart City through connectivity between the public and the private sector and the use of state-of-the-art technology.

The positive legacy of “Hurricane Hazel”

In the city’s recent history, Mississauga experienced the so called “ Hurricane Hazel” phenomenon in reference of the political strength of Hazel McCallion, 97 years old, who was the mayor for almost four decades.

Bonnie Crombie, the current mayor, is 58 years old. She was elected with the support of Hazel McCallion in November 2014.

INTERVIEW: Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie

 Inauguration ceremony of the Biolab unit in Mississauga. Among those present, the management team of Biolab; the mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie (next to the plaque); Ontario Finance Minister, Charles Sousa (center); The Minister of Economic Development and Growth, Brad Duguid (far right), and the Brazilian General Consul in Toronto, Ana Lélia Benincá Beltrame (right). Photo by Jandy Sales

The current mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie, talked to DISCOVER magazine about the city’s latest advances and strengthening the relationship between the Mississauga and Brazil.

On October 19, Brazilian group Biolab Farmacêutica opened its Research & Development Center in Mississauga. The group, which received initial investments of CAD 56 million, will be the core of the company’s internationalization process in important markets, such as United States, Canada, and the European Union. Biolab is the first 100% national company to have a research center abroad.

DISCOVER – What are some of the benefits for companies to establish their businesses in Mississauga?
Mayor Bonnie Crombie Mayor Bonnie Crombie – When we undertake international investment missions, we highlight why these companies should join the 1,400 multinational firms and 71 Fortune 500 businesses that have chosen Mississauga. We have one of the lowest corporate tax rates in North America. We hold the line on property taxes. Mississauga is strategically located in the heart of the Toronto Region – linked by 400 series highways; continental railways; home to Canada’s largest airport – Pearson International. We’re working with Toronto Global – our new foreign-direct investment agency – to close transformational business deals.

DISCOVER – How has the Mississauga International Partnership Program strengthened business opportunities Brazil?
Crombie – I undertook my first Economic Development Office (EDO) Investment Mission in 2015 to South America and in particular, Brazil. South America was chosen by Mississauga for an investment mission because of its large and internationally recognized life sciences industry. Mississauga is Canada’s second largest life sciences sector by employment – enhanced by the ongoing and innovative work at Trillium Health Partners.


“Investing in communities like Mississauga is part of our plan to grow Ontario’s economy and create jobs”
Foto 5 – Charles Sousa Minister of Finance and MPP for Mississauga South and Mayor Bonnie Crombie. Photo by Jandy Sales.

DISCOVER – As a Member of Provincial Parliament – Mississauga South, what’s your overall contribution to the improvement of the municipality?

Charles Sousa – Our government is undertaking the largest investment in Ontario’s history – $190 billion over 13 years – to build better hospitals, schools, roads and transit. I am proud to advocate for that funding to support a new LRT (Light Rail Transit) in Mississauga and reduce congestion, as well as investing more in hospitals to reduce patient wait times.

I believe in a balanced approach that is both fiscally prudent and socially progressive. It’s critical to invest and diversify our economy. That’s why we are making these strategic investments to be more competitive while balancing the budget. Our plan has resulted in the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years. We’re making life more affordable for the residents of Mississauga and across Ontario through new programs like free tuition and free pharmacare.

DISCOVER – As a Luso-Canadian, what do you think of the Portuguese participation in the Canadian economy?

Charles Sousa – The Portuguese community in Ontario is active, mature and involved in every sector of the economy. I’m proud to see Portuguese leaders in a variety of fields including the trades, law, medicine, science, and politics. Our Diaspora has grown, it’s strong, and we have an opportunity to build upon it. Portugal is a gateway to Europe and our language is a gateway to South America through Brazil. It will help foster trade relations and build a stronger economy.

Photo  – Peter Fonseca, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cookville

“As a Portuguese-Canadian, I am truly honoured to have had the wonderful opportunity to represent Mississauga-East from 2003-2011 as the Member of Provincial Parliament. Today, as the Member of Parliament for Mississauga East-Cooksville, I continue to love my role as a public servant – it keeps me connected to the people in our community. I have the pleasure and privilege to speak with them about their concerns and be a “strong voice” for them back in Ottawa. Thanks to Ms. Leila Monteiro Lins, Publisher for Discover Magazine, their editorials on Canada 150 and Hamilton brought back personal memories of my own immigrant experience. I always say that Canada is the greatest place on earth, because this is where we have the opportunity to celebrate where we come from and to cherish our rich heritage. Always proud to represent Mississauga East-Cooksville, a true embodiment of the Canadian dream, with the perfect blend of long-time residents and new-immigrants!”

Jandy Sales

is a freelance journalist with experience in radio, television, newspaper, and magazine. He worked as a producer and editor for a Brazilian broadcasting company and was awarded three prizes as a documentarist.

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