No one is retiring Hazel McCallion. The Canadian politician, who was mayor of the city of Mississauga (Ontario) for 36 years, celebrated the extension of her employment contract a few days ago. At age 101, he will continue to serve on the board of directors of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, the body responsible for managing Lester B. Pearson Airport, Canada’s busiest airport. He has held this position since 2017, where he also acts as a representative of the federal government.
By announcing the continuation of his contract, Omar Alghabra, the Federal Minister for Transport, underlined his decades of experience in community life and expressed the hope that his successes will continue at Canada’s largest airport. In 2019, before the ravages of the pandemic were felt, Lester B. Pearson Airport served more than 50 million passengers.
Awarded the Order of Canada in 2005, Hazel McCallion is one of the most important political figures in the country. Between 1978 and 2014, she was mayor of Mississauga, Ontario’s third most populous city on the outskirts of Toronto. At the age of 93, she decided not to run for re-election. Her way of arranging public affairs and her direct and often humorous tone made her stand out. In February 2003 she was hit by a pickup. He was in hospital for two days. As he left, he stated in front of the microphones: “The truck is still under repair.”
McCallion won 12 polls and twice won reelection by acclamation, despite being averse to campaigning and political donations. The media labeled her a ‘fiscal conservative’. One of his most famous statements in his years as mayor was: “I have learned to do things with few resources. And for that reason, today I only spend taxpayers’ money as if it were my own money, which is not much. That’s what the people of Mississauga love.” However, McCallion is also associated with a liberal view of other issues. In 2015, he publicly supported Justin Trudeau in the federal election that brought the Liberals to power. While her image as mayor has a blemish, according to the newspaper archives: in the 1980s she was singled out because of a conflict of interest, in a decision related to the planning of a particular country.
Hazel McCallion, born in 1921 in Port-Daniel, Quebec, completed a secretarial course. He has pointed out several times that he failed university classes due to his family’s economic hardship. She played ice hockey in a professional women’s league for a few years. She later worked in private companies and married a photographer in 1952 (died 1997); the couple had three children. McCallion was president of the Anglican Youth Association of Canada. Later, she began to stand out in municipal politics at a time when women in the country were not abundant in that area, until her arrival at Mississauga headquarters.
Hazel McCallion’s agenda will not only have spaces reserved for her activities at the airport agency. On March 17, the University of Toronto announced that McCallion will continue to serve as a special counsel on the Mississauga campus, a position she has held since 2015. On the day of the announcement, university officials called her “an invaluable resource.” The Canadian continues to show that the author of her famous nickname was not mistaken: she has been known as “Hurricane Hazel” for decades.
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