Greater Toronto: Hazel McCallion, icon of Canadian politics, renews her contract at the age of 101 | International

Hazel McCallion at her home in a file image.KEITH BEATY (Getty Images)

Nobody is retiring Hazel McCallion. The Canadian politician, who was in charge of the city of Mississauga (Ontario) as mayor for 36 years, celebrated the renewal of her employment contract a few days ago. At 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, the busiest in Canada. He has held this position since 2017, where he also acts as a representative of the federal government.

In announcing the continuation of his contract, Omar Alghabra, the federal Minister of Transport, highlighted his decades of experience in community life and expressed his hope that his successes continue at Canada’s largest airfield. In 2019, before the ravages of the pandemic began to be felt, Lester B. Pearson Airport served more than 50 million passengers.

Recipient of the Order of Canada in 2005, Hazel McCallion is one of the country’s most important political figures. She served as mayor of Mississauga, Ontario’s third-most populous city on the outskirts of Toronto, between 1978 and 2014. She decided not to run again at the age of 93. Her way of handling public affairs and her direct and often humorous tone set her apart. In February 2003, she was hit by a van. He stayed in the hospital for two days. As he left, he said in front of the microphones: “The truck is still being repaired.

McCallion won 12 times at the polls and was re-elected twice by acclamation, despite being opposed to campaigning and political donations. The media called her a “fiscal conservative”. One of his most famous phrases during his years as mayor was, “I learned to do things with few resources. And for this reason, today, I only spend taxpayers’ money as if it were my own, which is not much. Mississauga people love it. However, McCallion is also associated with a liberal view on other issues. In 2015, he publicly supported Justin Trudeau in the federal election that brought the Liberals to power. Even if her image as mayor has worn a stain, according to the newspaper’s archives: in the 1980s, she was singled out for a conflict of interest, in a decision related to the development of certain land.

Born in 1921 in Port-Daniel (Quebec), Hazel McCallion completed secretarial studies. He has repeatedly stressed that he did not attend university due to his family’s economic difficulties. She played ice hockey for a few years in a professional women’s league. Later, she worked in private companies and married in 1952 with a photographer (died in 1997); The couple had three children. McCallion served as president of the Young Anglican Association of Canada. Later, she began to stand out in municipal politics at a time when women in the country were not plentiful in this field, until her arrival at the main office in Mississauga.

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 would continue to serve as a special advisor at its Mississauga campus, a position she has held since 2015. On the day of the announcement, university officials l have called it an “invaluable resource”. The Canadian continues to show that the author of her famous nickname was not mistaken: she has been known for decades as “Hurricane Hazel”.

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