Brampton regional Councillor for Wards 9 and 10, John Sprovieri has announced his plans to run against Mayor Linda Jeffrey in the October 22 municipal election.

Sprovieri, who has been a councillor in Brampton since 1988, is the last veteran councillor to reveal his plans. Councillors Gael Miles, Elaine Moore, and Grant Gibson, the others remaining from the controversial Fennel era, have all announced their retirements.

Sprovieri says the decision comes after “dozens of heartfelt conversations with residents across Brampton”.

He says he plans to focus on crime, policing, property taxes, government spending, among other issues. “It concerns me deeply to hear so many residents who feel City Hall does not work for them,” the councillor says.

But Sprovieri has a colourful past. He made headlines across the country last year after his controversial reply to a constituent’s email with the subject line “Why are white people still planning Brampton’s future?”

The email was addressed to several people, including all members of council, and took aim at the city’s hiring process, calling it discriminatory and in favour of “white people”.

But it was Sprovieri’s response that sparked all the controversy when he replied by stating that people were eager to come to Canada because “white people of this nation have developed a great system” and that he hoped newcomers would “learn the values of the white people so that Brampton and Canada will continue to be a favourite destination.”

Sprovieri’s initial reaction to the public backlash was less than apologetic, but he eventually made a public apology.

Official complaints were filed with the city’s integrity commissioner last summer, including one from Peel District School Board Trustee Harkirat Singh, who said the remarks were “offensive and insensitive.”

The city’s integrity commissioner ruled that Sprovieri was in violation of the councillor’s code of conduct, which dictates “members should conduct themselves with appropriate decorum at all times.” He recommended the councillor take diversity and inclusion training.

Sprovieri has been the subject of other integrity commissioner complaints in the past, after leaking confidential information that could negatively impact the city’s defense in the pending $28.5 million lawsuits with a local developer.

He seems interested in putting the past behind him, though. In a statement, Sprovieri said he has a “deep gratitude for Brampton, a city that has given him and his family, a family of immigrants, so many opportunities.”

He also says that he won’t be campaigning in houses of worship and that he refuses to “use political correctness identity politics” to “pander for votes”.

As of now, Sprovieri goes up against four other candidates, including current Mayor Linda Jeffrey for the city’s top job on October 22. Nominations for candidates close on July 27.

Feature Image – Getty Images