Former Brampton councilor and acting mayor Garnett Manning is bidding to become the mayor of the Greater Toronto Area’s third largest city.
The Jamaican-born Manning filed his nomination papers last Monday for the October 25 municipal elections. He served as the representative of the diverse Wards Nine and 10 from 2003 to 2006 before losing the seat to Vicky Dhillon by just 441 votes.
Since being bounced from city council, Manning founded a youth and leadership foundation to embrace, engage and empower young people and has spent considerable time as an outreach coordinator with the Brampton Neighbourhood Resource Centre.
“I have had the opportunity to see Brampton in a different perspective in the past four years and that has really strengthened my resolve to want to make a difference,” Manning, a church deacon who holds a Bachelor of Theology degree, told Share. “This city has some serious social challenges, including uncontrolled growth and property taxes that have escalated by nearly 36 per cent in the last 10 years; youth violence and seniors who are at risk of being taxed out of their homes.
“A plan has to be devised for the erratic and uncontrollable growth we are experiencing and the decline in service delivery. A community can only be strong when all of its citizens’ talents are utilized to the maximum.”
Manning is challenging National Women’s Hockey League founding commissioner, Susan Fennell, who has been the mayor for the past decade. She supported his bid for re-election four years ago.
“I have a good relationship with Susan,” said Manning who attended the mayor’s New Year’s levee last Saturday. “It’s just a case of us having differences in opinion as to how this city should move forward. This is nothing personal. The future of Brampton is bigger than both us.”
A graduate of George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology and a certified journeyman and tool room machinist, Manning served on several committees and boards including the Brampton Seniors Council, the United Achievers Club in Brampton, the Brampton Citizens for A Great City Advisory Committee and St. Leonard’s House that provides programming and social support services to federal offenders and local homeless males.
During his tenure on Brampton city council, Manning advocated for the establishment of the state-of-the-art Rose Theatre which opened in 2006 and the Dixie-Sandalwood multi-purpose recreation centre which was launched a year later.