Bonnie Crombie says she will return from her leave of absence as Mississauga’s mayor to take part in the city’s budget process later this fall as she waits for the votes to be counted in the upcoming Liberal leadership race.

Last month, Crombie announced that she planned to step away from the mayor’s chair on Oct. 6 to focus on her bid to become the next leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. In a written statement sent to on Thursday, Crombie confirmed that she will return to her position as mayor later this fall to take part in the City of Mississauga’s budget discussions, which begin on the week of Nov. 27.

The budget meetings begin just one day after Liberal Party members cast their ballots for the next leader. Voting will be held on Saturday, November 25 and Sunday, November 26, with the new leader named on Dec. 2.

“Voting will be closed for the next Liberal leader and it will be important that I focus my efforts on setting the city up for success in 2024, regardless of the outcome of the leadership race,” Crombie’s statement read.

“As a third-term Mayor, I take my role and responsibilities seriously and want to ensure that Mississauga is making the right investments in key priorities including building more housing and transit, keeping our infrastructure in good working order while enhancing road safety among many others.”

Crombie also noted that she will be fulfilling her “commitments to shepherd the budget for the various boards and committees” she sits on.

“I look forward to hearing feedback from the public and Council on the city budget and leading this important process forward,” she said.

Crombie has been mayor of Mississauga since 2014 and was re-elected for a third term in October 2022 with more than 77 per cent of the vote. She registered to run for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party back in June.

Three other candidates, including former Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Liberal MP Nate Erskine-Smith, and Liberal MPP Ted Hsu, are challenging Crombie, the apparent frontrunner, to become the next leader of the party.

In response to Crombie’s decision to take a leave of absence, the Ontario PC Party released a statement last month, accusing the politician of taking “a prolonged vacation” from her job.

“It’s clear Bonnie only sees being mayor as a backup plan rather than what it is: a full-time job. She’s hedging her bets on becoming leader of the Ontario Liberals when she should be serving the people of Mississauga,” the statement read.

The budgeting process will likely extend well beyond the Dec. 2 announcement, meaning that if Crombie is selected to become the Liberal leader, she will hold both positions simultaneously.

If Crombie’s campaign is successful, Mississauga residents will be heading to the polls in the New Year to elect a new mayor.