For Immediate Release
January 17, 2022
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
- Re-zoning of Sheridan Research Park to attract
hundreds of new jobs.
- Implementing traffic safety measures throughout the
- Driving policy change at the Province to ban
door-to-door predatory sales tactics for home services that target the
- 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
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.