Monday 17 January 2022

IMPORTANT NEWS - Resignation Statement from Councillor Karen Ras (Ward 2)


(The text below has been reproduced 'as received')



For Immediate Release

January 17, 2022


Statement from Councillor Karen Ras (Ward 2)


The last seven years serving as a City and Regional Councillor in Mississauga and Peel has been one of the most rewarding and challenging of my career, but it is time to move on. As of January 28th, I will be vacating my Council seat.


I sought elected office in 2014 because I wanted to serve my community and I believed I could bring a set of skills and experience to make necessary changes to the most important level of government – municipal government. I am proud of all that we have accomplished.


Together, we embarked on some ambitious community initiatives. Some of these include:

  • Completing the Nine Creeks Trail active transportation corridor.
  • Re-zoning of Sheridan Research Park to attract hundreds of new jobs.
  • Implementing traffic safety measures throughout the Ward.
  • Driving policy change at the Province to ban door-to-door predatory sales tactics for home services that target the most vulnerable.
  • Protecting our tree canopy from invasive species.
  • Re-investing in local recreation infrastructure.
  • Leading efforts to hold the Peel and Mississauga budget process to account. 


I can leave this position with my head held high knowing that I leave my community better off than when I started.   


For several months now, I knew in my heart that I would be moving on after the next election. This inevitable change was accelerated, however, when I was presented with a fantastic career opportunity in a sector that I know well, doing work that I enjoy. It is an opportunity I simply couldn’t refuse – for myself and my family. 


In the coming weeks, I will be starting a new role as the Director of Communications, Government and Stakeholder Relations with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) based here in Mississauga. The ESA is a not-for profit organization designated by the provincial government to oversee electrical safety regulations and work to improve electrical safety for the well-being of Ontarians. This new role is ideal for me. My background and history in strategic communication management, experience in the electricity sector and my commitment to public service are found in one role. 


The decision to vacate my position early was not a decision I take lightly. I agonized over the decision, but the stresses of the role, supporting elderly parents and the additional challenges of governing in COVID times has contributed to this decision. 


Make no mistake – being an elected official and Councillor is a tough job. As rewarding as it can be, we deal with some difficult people that make us question “is this worth it?” and at times raise concerns for our personal safety. The abuse we receive on-line, by phone and in person is something that no one should ever be comfortable with. In addition, when there are workplace issues, as Councillors, we do not have the avenues necessary to have them dealt with appropriately. I sincerely hope that efforts to strengthen Municipal Codes of Conduct are accelerated. These changes are long overdue.


Timing is not ideal but it is the right decision for myself and my family. My husband and two daughters have supported me at every stage of my political and professional journey.


I would like to thank the amazing residents of Ward 2. These residents – my neighbours in Lorne Park, Clarkson, Park Royal, Port Credit and Sheridan Homelands – make Ward 2 an incredible community to live. It’s the people – not the politicians – that help drive the change that make our communities great places to live.


I would like to thank the staff at both the City and Region – especially my Ward 2 team Gaggan and Tara - for always going above and beyond to serve our residents. I don’t think residents appreciate how well served they are by the hundreds of dedicated women and men who work for Mississauga and Peel. 


My time serving as Board Member and Chair of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority will always be cherished. They do incredible work protecting and enhancing our Credit River watershed and I plan to continue my role as a volunteer on the Foundation Board.


Lastly, I would like to thank Mayor Crombie and my Council colleagues. We may not have always agreed, but over the past few years, we have made some bold decisions that we knew weren’t going to be popular we but did so with the best of intentions to build a thriving, vibrant city. I’m confident on Mississauga’s bright future and I’m proud of the contributions I have made around the Council table.


Since my departure comes during an election year, my Council colleagues have the choice to appoint an interim Councillor for the remainder of the term or hold a by-election. I will not weigh in on that decision. I will, however, be available to my colleagues and successor for any advice and wisdom I can impart should they need it.


I wish everyone nothing but the best and thank you for your support during my time as Councillor.