Trudeau remembers 'trailblazer' Hazel McCallion as tributes pour in for late Mississauga mayor
Late Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion is being remembered for the many ways she contributed to not only to the city she led for 36 years, but also the province and country following her death on Sunday morning.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his “dear friend” Hazel McCallion was “an extraordinary woman who wore many hats: a businessperson, an athlete, a politician, and one of Canada's – and the world’s – longest-serving mayors. Nicknamed ‘Hurricane Hazel’ for her bold political style, she was unstoppable,” he said in a written statement.
“Hazel McCallion was remarkable and inspiring leader, an extraordinary woman, a really good friend,” Trudeau said before boarding a flight on Sunday afternoon.
“She will be deeply missed and she will be fondly remembered,” the prime minister said, nodding to the last time he spoke with her just 10 days ago.
Nicknamed ‘Hurricane Hazel’ for her bold political style, she was unstoppable,” Trudeau said.
“‘I want to assure you that the people will come first during my term’ she told a cheering crowd when she won her first term as mayor almost 45 years ago. And that was how she served: by putting people first,” said Trudeau, who offered condolences to McCallion’s family, friends and the people of Mississauga on behalf of all Canadians.
“She inspired countless others, including myself, in her decades of tireless and selfless service. I will miss her as a friend, and I’ll always cherish the conversations we had, and the wisdom she shared over the years.”
Trudeau said Mississauga, under McCallion’s guidance as mayor from 1978 to 2014, was transformed from a bedroom community into Canada’s sixth largest city.
“We will remember her as a trailblazer whose career in politics and service to her community will remain an inspiration to all of us. But mostly, we will remember her as a dear friend.”
In a statement, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie called “Mississauga’s matriarch” a “fierce and passionate leader who touched the lives of many and who served as an inspiration to women in politics across the country.”
“Hazel lived a good life and the truth is that even in her final days, she never stopped giving back to this great city and to the people who proudly call it home,” she said, adding that McCallion "helped grow and shape Mississauga from farmland and fruit trees into the seventh-largest city in Canada."
Crombie who succeeded McCallion as mayor in 2014 following a 36-year reign, said that the longtime mayor was a strong-willed and determined individual who “always fought for the best interests of Mississauga whether it was at the Council table, Queen’s Park or on Parliament Hill.”
“Hurricane Hazel inspired countless women to speak out and have their voices heard, to take the leap into politics and demand a seat at the decision-making table,” she said. “Everything she did was for the betterment of our city and to ensure that even long after her time, Mississauga thrives. Even in her final years, Hazel never stopped moving. I’ll miss the time we spent together on evenings and weekends, whether that was cutting ribbons for new businesses, raising funds for charity, walking in parades or speaking at festivals.
“She was the driving force behind my decision to put my name on the ballot to succeed her as Mayor of this great city. I wouldn’t be the leader I am today if it wasn’t for her support and sage advice.”
Crombie urged all Mississauga residents to “take a moment today to reflect and thank Hazel for her life of service and contributions to our city.”
“Her legacy and spirit will live on in Mississauga for generations to come,” she said.
Books of condolence for Hazel McCallion will be available to sign in the Great Hall at Mississauga City Hall and at 11 community centres throughout the city starting on Monday at 10 a.m. More details can be found online.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said McCallion wasn’t just the mayor of Mississauga.
“She was Canada’s Mayor,” he tweeted.
“(McCallion) was the epitome of hard work & wisdom. I was lucky to consider her a friend & mentor for many years.”
Offering condolences to the McCallion family on behalf of the City of Brampton, Brown said flags would be lowered in his city. People can also share their memories and condolences online or sign a book of condolences at Brampton City Hall.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said McCallion was Mississauga’s “iconic mayor” who “built that city from 1978 to 2014.”
“To me, she was also a friend and a mentor. I spoke with her often and had the great privilege of meeting with her twice in the past two weeks, most recently on Tuesday when she was as engaged as ever despite her illness,” he said in a statement.
Tory said McCallion served her city with “strength and incredible energy,” even in her retirement.
“Her commitment to local government was absolute. As Mississauga’s longest-serving Mayor, she didn’t hesitate to work with the federal and provincial governments to get things done for her city but she also spoke truth to power and held those same governments to account whenever she had to. You always knew where you stood with Hazel,” he said, offering condolences on behalf of the City of Toronto to McCallion’s family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, and the people of Mississauga.
“I feel so fortunate to have known Hazel for decades and to have been able to call her a friend. I’m thankful for her kindness, her skill, her quick wit and her bluntness,” Tory said.
“Hazel, we love you and we already miss you. May you now rest in peace after a long life that was so well-lived."
Former Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne reflected on her time working with McCallion, primarily recalling her “no nonsense” approach to politics.
“She just wanted to get things done,” Wynne told CP24 on Sunday afternoon.
“She was a dynamo. She came into her room, and her size didn't matter because she had a huge voice and a big presence.”
Ontario Green Party leader Mike Shreiner and Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles both took to social media to reflect on McCallion’s life and contributions.
Paramount Fine Foods Founder, Mohamad Fakih, said McCallion made him the person who he is today.
“When she used to support me when I had four tables at Paramount, I felt I had the whole of Canada behind me,” he told CP24 on Sunday morning.
“I was scared when I was starting a business. She used to tell me, ‘Kid, you're gonna be something, something important. And I used to say, ‘But how do you say that? I barely can make ends meet and pay my bills at the end of the month.’ And she said, ‘I don't care, you're just gonna be something and do great things for people.'”
McCallion family spokesperson Jim Murray spoke with CP24 Sunday morning about the “force of nature” his loved one was in Mississauga and across Ontario and Canada.
Murray said many people have been reaching out to McCallion over the last three weeks since her health began to decline to try to visit with her.
“It's been an unbelievable outpouring of love, caring, and appreciation for the woman who was really the architect of the building of (Mississauga),” he said, calling McCallion’s work and budgetary ethics “refreshing.”
He said her tireless effort ensured that Mississauga residents could go to bed at night knowing they had a leader who took care of them and their money.
“And it is in great measure a respected municipality because of the groundwork that she had laid and the undying commitment to keeping this as a quality place to live work, play,” Murray said.
Serving as Mississauga’s longest-serving mayor was a role McCallion put before everything else up, he added.
“The McCallion family are very proud of their mother and of what she did for her entire lifetime and they will enjoy the accolades that come because they know she was deserving. They donated their mother to this city for pretty well most of their life and now that is likely going to send a huge message of thank you to them.”
Funeral plans for McCallion have yet to be announced.
Toronto Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
'Everything is interwoven': Trudeau and Biden vow continued Canada-U.S. collaboration during historic visit
U.S President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have announced updates on a number of cross-border issues, after a day of meetings on Parliament Hill.
Incredible photos show northern lights dancing across much of Canada
Sky-gazers and shutterbugs across much of Canada were treated to a spectacular display of northern lights Thursday night and into Friday morning.
Most Canadians believe speeding tickets should be tied to income: poll
A new survey conducted by Research Co. found that the majority of Canadians support tying speeding tickets to income, otherwise known as ‘progressive punishment.’
Trudeau says his kids 'no longer access' TikTok after Canadian government ban
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's teenage daughter and son, Ella-Grace and Xavier, 'no longer access TikTok,' the father of three told reporters during a joint press conference with U.S. President Joe Biden in Ottawa on March 24.
Ontario crypto king kidnapped, tortured in an attempt to get millions in ransom, documents say
Ontario’s self-described crypto king was allegedly abducted, tortured, and beaten for days as his kidnappers looked to solicit millions in ransom, his father told a court in December.
As it happened: U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to Canada
After a day of meetings on Parliament Hill, U.S President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced updates on various cross-border issues. CTVNews.ca breaks down Biden's first presidential visit to Canada, as it happened.
Canada’s Ivvavik National Park among most remote and beautiful places in the world: Big 7 Travel
Global travel site Big 7 Travel ranked the most remote and beautiful places in the world, and only one Canadians location—Ivvavik national park—is among them.
Eugene Levy, Sarah Polley, Jean Chretien, the two Michaels among guests at Biden gala dinner
Notable people will be in attendance at Friday’s gala dinner with U.S. President Joe Biden, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, including former prime ministers and celebrities.
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau introduces Jill Biden to curling during Ottawa visit
The first lady of the United States got a sweeping introduction to Canadian sports culture in Ottawa Friday as Sophie Gregoire Trudeau took Jill Biden to the curling rink for her first trip to Ottawa.
Man in life-threatening condition after shooting in Pierrefonds-Roxboro: paramedics
A man in his 30s was sent to hospital in life-threatening condition after being shot in Pierrefonds-Roxboro Friday evening, paramedics say.
Airbnb to pull listings that don't have proper permits in Quebec
Short-term rental company Airbnb says it will pull listings that don't have a proper permit from the Quebec government. The San Francisco-based company made the announcement eight days after a fatal fire destroyed an Old Montreal building that housed illegal rentals.
Legault hails Canada-U.S. deal on Roxham Road 'a great victory'
Quebec Premier François Legault said he was 'happy' that Roxham Road will be 'closed' at midnight Friday as part of the agreement announced between Canada and the United States on asylum seekers.
Can this notorious London, Ont. intersection be made safer with a red light camera?
A new safety assessment of the Hamilton Road and Highbury Avenue intersection makes several recommendations to address the high number of collisions.
Cinder block thrown through window of south London restaurant
A London man was arrested early Friday morning after being spotted throwing a cinder block through the front door of a restaurant, according to police.
Byron barn battle takes another twist: volunteers vow to assist elderly man with hard labour
An elderly Byron man said he received numerous offers of help to clear away rotting barn rubble from his property, after a London, Ont. city council committee endorsed a recommendation to grant a demolition permit.
Fake ‘Catch the Ace’ tickets reportedly being sold in Hagersville
Organizers of the ‘Catch the Ace’ lottery in Hagersville are warning the public about fake tickets as the jackpot climbs closer to $2 million.
Northern lights put on a stunning show in southern Ontario
Southern Ontario got a show-stopping look at the northern lights Thursday and there may be a repeat performance this weekend.
Alleged death threats sent to regional chair, court documents show
A Kitchener man has been arrested by Waterloo regional police for making alleged death threats towards Region of Waterloo Chair Karen Redman.
Ontario's 2022 Sunshine List is out. Who was the top earner?
Ontario's so-called sunshine list is out and the three top paid public employees in the province are all at Ontario Power Generation.
Sudbury police charge OPP sergeant with criminal harassment
CTV News has learned an Ontario Provincial Police sergeant with 22 years of service has been charged in Sudbury with criminal harassment.
Ontario PC cabinet minister Merrilee Fullerton resigns
Merrilee Fullerton, a longtime cabinet minister in Doug Ford's government, unexpectedly resigned Friday, forcing the premier to name a new minister to the children, community and social services post.
Biden visits Ottawa: U.S. president wraps up two-day trip to Ottawa
Heavy security and sparse crowds gathered in downtown Ottawa for day two of U.S. President Joe Biden's whirlwind visit to the capital.
Here's a look at the highest paid public sector employees in Ottawa in 2022
Ottawa's former city manager, the top doctor and a deputy police chief were the highest paid public servants at Ottawa City Hall and Ottawa Police headquarters last year.
Fullerton resigns as MPP for Kanata-Carleton
Kanata-Carleton Progressive Conservative MPP Merrilee Fullerton announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that she had tendered her resignation to Premier Doug Ford.
Windsor-Essex brewers lament impact of looming 6.3% alcohol tax
On April 1, a 6.3 per cent federal excise tax goes into effect on beer, wine and spirits producers.
Windsor police officer demoted for ‘unnecessary’ arrest of two Black men
A Windsor police officer has been demoted for neglect of duty for the “unnecessary” arrest of two Black men.
Provincial funding boost in mental health services welcome news for Windsor-Essex health officials
Initial reaction to Ontario's 2023 budget indicates it’s being well received by pharmacists and mental health care officials in Windsor-Essex.
Barrie restaurants, bars brace for most significant alcohol tax jump in 40 years
Canada's restaurant industry is bracing for the biggest jump in the country's alcohol excise duty in more than 40 years, spurring warnings the tax hike could force some bars and restaurants out of business.
One of 7 men charged in Elnaz Hajtamiri case to be released from custody
One of the seven men charged in connection with the alleged frying pan assault and attempted abduction of Ontario woman Elnaz Hajtamiri weeks before her disappearance will be released from custody.
Barrie man at the centre of violent arrest sentenced for unrelated charges
Skyler Kent, the man violently arrested in downtown Barrie in 2021, pleaded guilty to multiple unrelated charges and one for threatening the arresting officer and was sentenced Friday.
EXCLUSIVE | Students hailed for aiding stabbed staff member; school principal and parents thank community
Two students are being recognized for their quick actions, and school administration and parents are thanking the community, after a difficult week at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S.
Woman injured in west Saint John shooting, three suspects arrested
Police say a woman is in hospital following a shooting in west Saint John, N.B., early Friday morning and three suspects have been arrested.
Provinces compete to retain, recruit health-care workers
As competition for health-care workers heats up, so too does the bidding.
1 missing as 2 houses burn in afternoon fire in northwest Calgary
One person is missing and a dog is dead after two homes caught fire Friday afternoon in northwest Calgary.
Missing Windsor Park woman and toddler located safe
A woman and toddler who were reported missing from the community of Windsor Park are safe.
MONSTR, Calgary director Tank Standing Buffalo's latest animated short, streaming on HBO Max
A Calgary animator's newest cartoon started streaming Thursday night on HBO Max.
'If it ain't broke, don't fix it': Proposed liquor in grocery stores pilot brings mixed reactions
There are mixed feelings in Manitoba about a proposed plan to expand liquor sales and put beer, wine and hard alcohol on the shelves of retailers like grocery stores.
'A sad thing that happens': Town of Arborg dealing with increase in stray cats
A town in Manitoba's Interlake area is trying to find new homes for stray cats that were dumped in the community.
Manitoba First Nation enforcing new measures to combat drug crisis
A Manitoba First Nation is enacting measures to combat an ongoing drug and addiction crisis while also calling on the federal and provincial governments to do more to address drug-related deaths within northern remote Indigenous communities.
'Fentanyl, it’s destroying everybody': Homeless crisis grows in Chilliwack
On the streets of Chilliwack, there are more homeless people than ever before, and some of them are barely teenagers.
Demand grows to ban octopus farms in Canada
Over 11,000 people have signed a petition demanding the Canadian government ban octopus farms from opening in the country.
'It was a whole dance of lights': Aurora borealis peeks through the clouds in Vancouver
Samuel Troya saw the northern lights over Vancouver once before, about a year and a half ago, but it was nothing like the spectacle he witnessed Friday morning.
2 UCP ministers, Travis Toews and Sonya Savage, not seeking reelection
Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Travis Toews and Calgary-North West MLA Sonya Savage announced Friday they will not be seeking reelection in May.
'More concrete and parking': Critics concerned over Hawrelak Park trees after FOIP request
Members of Edmonton's River Valley Conservation Coalition board say a freedom of information request shows the city plans to remove trees in Hawrelak Park to make room for infrastructure during the controversial three-year rehabilitation project at the park.
Road closures for Edmonton police funeral procession announced
The procession is scheduled to leave the Alberta Legislature grounds toward Rogers Place at approximately 11:45 a.m.