Hazel McCallion

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Her Worship
Hazel McCallion
Hazel McCallion.jpg
Hazel McCallion in 2010.
3rd Mayor of Mississauga
Assumed office
December 1, 1978
Preceded by Ron Searle
Personal details
Born Hazel Journeaux
(1921-02-14) February 14, 1921 (age 93)
Port Daniel, Quebec
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Sam McCallion (m. 1951; died 1997)
Alma mater University of Toronto Mississauga (Hon.)
Profession Professional hockey player,
Religion Anglican

Hazel McCallion, née Journeaux, CM (born February 14, 1921) is the current mayor of Mississauga, Ontario.[1]

McCallion was first elected in November 1978, and is the longest serving mayor in the city's history. Since her first term, she has been a successful candidate in 12 municipal elections; having been acclaimed twice and re-elected 10 other times.[1] Her supporters gave her the nickname "Hurricane Hazel" because of her outspoken and indomnitable political style.[2][3]

In 2005 McCallion was runner-up for the World Mayor Award,[4] and was made a Member of the Order of Canada.[5] She has also been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the country's highest individual honour, for her role in bringing German companies to Canada.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Journeaux was born at Port Daniel on the Gaspé Coast of Quebec. Her father, Herbert Armand Journeaux (1879–1944), owned a fishing and canning company. Her mother, Maude Travers (1876–1955), was a homemaker and ran the family farm. The family also comprised two older sisters and two older brothers. After graduating from Quebec High School, she attended business secretarial school in Quebec City and Montreal. She has stated, especially while receiving university honours, that she would have wanted to attend university, but her family could not afford it. After beginning her career in Montreal with the Canadian Kellogg company, she was transferred to Toronto in 1942, where she helped set up the local office. McCallion left the business world in 1967 to devote her life to a career in politics.[1]

She met her future husband, Sam McCallion (1923–97),[6] at an Anglican Church congregation in Toronto in 1951; they married on September 29 of that year.[7] As a marriage present from McCallion’s in-laws, a piece of land in what would later become Mississauga, near the village of Streetsville, Ontario, was given to the newlyweds. McCallion has three children. Prior to becoming mayor, she and her husband founded The Mississauga Booster, a community newspaper that her son now edits and publishes. In 1997, her husband died of Alzheimer's disease. She still resides in Streetsville.

Mississauga's Streetsville neighbourhood

In a first-person account for Canadian magazine Confidence Bound, McCallion credited her faith with giving her the energy her job demands. "Having a life filled with purpose and meaning and living my life in a Christian-like manner helps to motivate me and keep me energized," she said. She also revealed that she does everything around the house herself. "I do my own cleaning, grocery shopping, gardening… The assumption is that people in my position have others doing all these things for them but I like to be self sufficient. Housework and gardening are great forms of exercise and keep one humble."

Political career[edit]

McCallion began her political career in Streetsville, a village that has since merged into the City of Mississauga. Beginning as the chairman of the Streetsville Planning Board in 1967, she later became deputy reeve and was appointed reeve soon after. She was elected as Streetsville's mayor in 1970, serving until 1973. The City of Mississauga came into being in 1974.

By the time she was elected mayor of Mississauga, she had sat on virtually every committee in Peel Region and the City of Mississauga. She has also served on the executive of many federal and provincial committees and associations.

McCallion's leadership helped build a new city hall.

McCallion was first elected mayor in 1978, narrowly defeating the popular incumbent Ron A. Searle. She had been in office only a few months when a public health and safety crisis occurred during the 1979 Mississauga train derailment. On November 10, a Canadian Pacific train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in a heavily populated area of Mississauga near Mavis Road. A large explosion and fire ensued as hazardous chemicals spilled. McCallion, along with the Peel Regional Police and other governmental authorities, oversaw an orderly and peaceful evacuation of the entire city. Despite having sprained her ankle, she continued to hold press conferences and update briefings. There were no deaths or serious injuries during the week-long emergency, and Mississauga gained international renown for the peaceful evacuation of its then 200,000 residents.

McCallion has overseen the growth of Mississauga from a small collection of towns and villages to one of Canada’s largest cities. This dynamic growth occurred after the 1976 election of René Lévesque's Parti Québécois government sparked an exodus of Anglophones and corporations from Montreal to the Greater Toronto Area.[8][9][10] As Toronto grew in national standing, Mississauga politicians worked to define their community beyond a bedroom community of Toronto.

Today, Mississauga is home to a mix of commercial, residential, industrial, and recreational areas. According to a Canadian relocation service, the city has 9,730 businesses, encompassing manufacturing, distribution, and business services, in addition to approximately 9,000 retail businesses.[11] The McCallion government also spearheaded the development of a "downtown" Mississauga area. The Square One Shopping Centre, built near Hurontario Street and Burnhamthorpe Road during the 1970s, has evolved into a centre of commercial and recreational activity.

Mississauga's Central Library.

The Civic Centre, including a new city hall, Central Library, and Mississauga Living Arts Centre, along with a Mississauga Transit terminal and shopping and entertainment options, now populate the former fallow farm land. This city centre helped unite residents of the different towns that made up Mississauga without destroying the smaller villages. The construction of Highway 403 in the 1980s eased access to this area of the city. In the 1990s, the Hershey Centre, a hockey arena and concert venue, was built near Matheson and Tomken Road, facilitating the creation of the Ontario Hockey League's expansion team, the Mississauga IceDogs.

Some of McCallion's initiatives have been unsuccessful. Under Ontario law, Mississauga is part of Peel Region, along with Brampton and Caledon. McCallion and the Mississauga council have asked that their city be made an upper-tier municipality, but so far that request has been denied by the Ontario government. Mississauga has so far obtained two additional seats on the regional council, which still gives it less representation than its proportionate share by population or by municipal tax base. This has created controversy within the region. Brampton and Caledon politicians argued against McCallion, saying that Mississauga's growth has slowed down and it had been the chief beneficiary of Peel's 1970s infrastructure projects.

In 1982, McCallion was found guilty of a conflict of interest on a planning decision by the Ontario High Court of Justice due to not absenting herself from a council meeting on a matter in which she had an interest. However, it was found to be a bona fide error of judgment and she was not required to vacate her seat.[12]

McCallion has been easily elected for the last 20 years, with no serious challengers coming close to unseating her as mayor of the city.[13] Due to her popularity, she does not campaign during elections and refuses to accept political donations, instead asking her supporters to donate the money to charity. She is now in her 12th consecutive term as mayor, having won her most recent bid for reelection on October 25, 2010.[14]

She was lauded as a hero in April 2006 during a police standoff involving a distraught man threatening to kill himself. The five-hour standoff came to a peaceful end when McCallion appeared on the scene and demanded he stand down so that police, paramedic, and fire personnel could attend to more important matters.[15]

In 2009 McCallion was the focus of public opinion when it was alleged that she failed to disclose a conflict of interest when attending meetings that concerned her son's company, World Class Developments Ltd.[16][17] On October 3, 2011, Judge Douglas Cunningham found McCallion "acted in a 'real and apparent conflict of interest' while pushing hard for a real estate deal that could have put millions of dollars in her son’s pocket."[18] She was cleared of all charges June 14, 2013.[19]

In 2012 McCallion was the third highest paid mayor in Canada, with a salary of $187,057.[20] McCallion will step down as mayor as the current term ends during the fall of 2014, not running for-reelection in that year's municipal elections [21]

Political views[edit]

McCallion has worked with a variety of federal and provincial governments and has not expressed a consistent party preference, preferring to work with each elected official.[citation needed]

Her principles are grounded in the belief that a city should be run like a business; thus, she encourages the business model of governance. Her family's business background, her education, and her prior career in a corporation prepared her to approach government with this model. Mississauga is one of the few cities in Canada that is debt free; it has not borrowed money since 1978.[22] However, Mississauga may have to borrow money to build new capital projects in 2012.[23] McCallion has been described as a "small-c" conservative.[24]

McCallion is one of the most prominent women now holding political power in Canada. As she is able to express support for women's equality in Canada, and in definition is a feminist, she does not like to label herself.[25] She was chosen one of the American Women of the Year in Who's Who of American Women,[26] as well as Women of the Year 2001 by an international business lobby.[27]

McCallion's spiritual home is Trinity Anglican Church on Queen Street in Streetsville.

Her Christian faith also contributes to her concern for the public good. A member of Trinity Anglican Church in Streetsville, her charitable work now includes Hazel's Hope, a campaign to fund health care for children afflicted with AIDS and HIV in southern Africa. Accordingly, she has been lauded as "an international ambassador for the city and a world citizen" by a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization advancing the concerns of cities internationally.[28]

In 2007, McCallion responded to the federal government's refusal to give one cent of the GST to cities, a funding source long requested by many municipalities across Canada, by planning a 5 per cent surcharge on property taxes in the city. She was able to have the levy introduced and approved on the same day by Mississauga council, in contrast to Toronto Mayor David Miller, who was unable to get increased tax revenue approved for months. Most media coverage, as well as Miller, noted that McCallion was arguably one of the few mayors in the country with the political capital to implement such a strategy.[29]

McCallion has also expressed pessimism over Miller's "one-cent now" campaign, saying, "I can assure you our citizens [of Mississauga] can’t point out to us where there’s a lot of waste. Toronto, unfortunately, has that situation, in which their citizens are saying it, as well as their board of trade has been saying it and even their own councillors are saying it. If my councillors were saying we were wasting money, I'd be really concerned. I think we give value for tax dollars; we run our city like a business." Toronto councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong made a comparison: "Hazel McCallion runs a tight ship. David Miller’s ship has leaks all over the place”, and some commentators suggested this allowed Mississauga to make a more credible case to the federal government. She unveiled her own plan, "Cities Now!", to get federal funding for municipal infrastructure.[24][29]

McCallion hosts an annual gala in Mississauga to raise money for arts and culture in the city. Attendees at the 2008 gala, which also marked the 30th anniversary of McCallion's election to the mayoralty of Mississauga, included former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Lincoln Alexander and American talk show host Regis Philbin.[30]

McCallion endorsed Kathleen Wynne on the convention floor of the 2013 Ontario Liberal Party leadership election,[31] and later endorsed her and her party in the 2014 Ontario general election.[32]

International politics[edit]

McCallion was one of the first Canadian politicians to openly support the creation of a Palestinian state. Addressing the annual convention of the Canadian Arab Federation in 1983, she argued that Palestinian issues had been distorted by the national media and was quoted as saying, "The Palestinians need and require and deserve a country of their own. Why shouldn't they get it?"[33]

Contribution to health care[edit]

During the 2008 An Evening Voyage Gala, Trillium Health Centre named its new cardiac care centre the Hazel McCallion Centre for Heart Health in honour of the mayor. McCallion is the honorary chair to the Trillium Health Centre Foundation’s $36 million capital campaign and has made had a significant contribution to the health centre with campaigns such as the "I heart Hazel" campaign, which "[Raised] Awareness and funds for advanced cardiac services, while honouring an iconic leader".[5] Janet Davidson, O.C. president and CEO, stated, "We are extremely grateful for everything Mayor McCallion has done for Trillium Health Centre and for the health and well-being of the people of Mississauga." The mayor was grateful for such an honour, saying, "The Hazel McCallion Centre for Heart Health will provide cardiac care, research and education which will help to enhance Trillium’s reputation as a leader in cardiac care and I am truly honoured to have this facility bear my name".[34]

McCallion became the poster girl for longevity and good health for Trillium Health Centre on her 90th birthday, which coincided with the hospital's Wear Your Heart event recognizing the support of the volunteer staff at the hospital. Dr. Barbara Clive, a geriatrician, marvelled at McCallions good health: "At 90 her gait is perfect, her speech is totally sharp and she has the drive to still run this city. She’s the poster child for seniors". McCallion also visited the Credit Valley Hospital earlier that day, which she helped to found 25 years earlier.[35]

Involvement in education[edit]

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School[edit]

The Hazel McCallion Senior Public School, opened in 1991, is named in her honour, and is home of the Hurricanes, in honour of her nickname, Hurricane Hazel.

University of Toronto Mississauga[edit]

The University of Toronto Mississauga Library is officially known as the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre. The facility opened on October 8, 2006, as part of the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. Former vice president and principal of the university, Ian Orchard, announced McCallion’s involvement with the new facility in 2005.[36]

Sheridan College[edit]

On February 12, 2011, Jeff Zabudsky, president and CEO of Sheridan College, announced that the college’s new Mississauga Campus would be named in honour of McCallion. The announcement was made at the mayor's 90th birthday celebration, held at the Mississauga Convention Centre.[37]


McCallion is well known for her love of hockey. She played for a professional women's team while attending school in Montreal. One of her friends is Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry, who joked during her 87th birthday that while 98 per cent of the city voted for her, he was looking for the remaining 2 per cent that didn't. McCallion began playing hockey in the late 1920s in the town of Port Daniel, Quebec. She played with her two sisters and was a forward on their team. McCallion later played hockey for $5 a game in the city of Montreal. The team was sponsored by Kik Cola and was part of a three-team women’s league.[38]

At the 1987 World Women's Hockey Tournament (not recognized by the IIHF), the championship trophy was named the Hazel McCallion World Cup.[39] At one time, McCallion was a board member of the Ontario Women's Hockey League, and was instrumental in the construction of the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. McCallion provided assistance for Don Cherry’s group to bring an Ontario Hockey League franchise to the city in 1998, and she was instrumental in bringing the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships to the city in 2000.


  • In 1991, McCallion became the first mayor of a major municipality to submit the annual operating budget to residents for their input and scrutiny. She was also among the first mayors of major municipalities to be openly committed to a pay as you go philosophy.
  • The City of Mississauga did not have to borrow money from Mississauga's creation in 1978 until the 2012 budget.
  • McCallion established the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Mayors' Committee in 1992. She brought together the 30 GTA Mayors, later adding the Chair of Metropolitan Toronto and the four Regional Chairs to work cooperatively for the economic promotion of the GTA. From 1992 to January 2000, the committee, chaired by McCallion, was a strong voice on key issues affecting the future of the GTA.[1]
  • She is a founder and honorary co-chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance.
  • In 1996, McCallion was appointed to the "Who Does What" panel. She was also appointed to two sub-panels: Assessment and Property Taxation Reform, and Emergency Services.
  • She represented the Association of Municipalities of Ontario on the Electricity Transition Committee for the Ministry of Electricity, Science and Technology.
  • McCallion is the first woman to hold such significant positions as president of the Streetsville and District Chamber of Commerce, president of the Anglican Young Peoples' Association of Canada, mayor of Streetsville, and mayor of Mississauga.
  • In 2003, the International Economic Development Council awarded her its Leadership in Public Service Award. This award is given annually to an elected official who has served as a committed advocate for economic development for at least 10 years in the public sector.
  • In 2005 she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. She is also one of the few non-Germans to be a Member of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (see Bundesverdienstkreuz).[40]
  • She ranked second in the 2005 international World Mayor poll, behind only Dora Bakoyannis of Athens.
  • The University of Toronto at Mississauga named its new library and academic learning centre after McCallion in appreciation of the support she offered the campus in its growth and development.
  • The Peel Board of Education has named a school after her, the Hazel McCallion Senior Public School.
  • Different Hazel McCallion bobblehead dolls have been made.[41]
  • She was named American Woman of the Year in Who's Who of American Women, as well as Woman of the Year 2001 by an international business lobby.[27]
  • The Delta Meadowvale Hotel has a Hazel McCallion Room in her honour.
  • In 2009, McCallion was featured on the CBC Television series the Rick Mercer Report.[42]
  • On June 7, 2010, she received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Toronto during the convocation of the University of Toronto Mississauga's graduating class.
  • On March 18, 2012, Shahid Rassam unveiled a portrait of McCallion at the South Asian Gallery of Art in support of the SickKids Foundation.[43]
  • On June 10, 2014 McCallion was presented with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette by the Consul General of Japan in Toronto, on behalf of the Emperor of Japan, for her support of Japanese businesses in Mississauga and furthering of Japanese-Canadian relations.[44]


  1. ^ a b c d e "About the Mayor". City of Mississauga. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario (April 2, 2004). "Remarks In Tribute To Hazel McCallion". Government of Ontario. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  3. ^ "From hay fields to metropolis: Hazel McCallion reflects on her career as mayor of Mississauga, Ont.". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "World Mayor Results 2005". World Mayor. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Trillium Giving, "Mayor Hazel McCallion, A health care champion close to all our hearts", 2009.
  6. ^ Elik, Kristy (February 21, 2008). "Nominate a caring volunteer for the 2008 Sam McCallion Award". The Booster. 
  7. ^ "McCallion, Hazel". Heritage Mississauga. 
  8. ^ Carroll, William K (2002). "Westward ho? The shifting geography of corporate power in Canada". Journal of Canadian Studies. 
  9. ^ Linteau, Paul-Andre. "Montreal: Economy and Labour". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  10. ^ Couture, Patrick. "René Lévesque: La loi 101". Republique Libre. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  11. ^ "CRS Mississauga". Canadian Relocation Systems. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  12. ^ Patrick, Kelly (April 8, 2006). "Hazel McCallion". Canada: National Post. 
  13. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/ted_woloshyn/2010/09/17/15391806.html
  14. ^ "McCallion wins 12th term as Mississauga mayor". Canada: CBC News. October 25, 2010. [dead link]
  15. ^ . CP24. February 14, 2011 http://www.cp24.com/mississauga-mayor-hurricane-hazel-mccallion-turns-90-1.607538.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Toronto Star September 30, 2009
  17. ^ O'Toole, Megan (August 18, 2010). "Mississauga inquiry: World Class enlisted Mayor Hazel McCallion’s help". National Post. 
  18. ^ "McCallion: a ‘real and apparent’ conflict of interest". Toronto Star. 3 October 2011. 
  19. ^ CBC News http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/06/14/toronto-mccallion-ruling.html |url= missing title (help). 
  20. ^ "The 9 highest paid mayors in Canada". 2012. 
  21. ^ "Former MP Steve Mahoney enters Mississauga mayoral race". 17 March 2014. 
  22. ^ vom Hove (editor), Tann (February 1, 2004). "Mayor of Mississauga Interview". City Mayors, of Canada. 
  23. ^ Gombu, Phinjo (January 14, 2010). "Mississauga's cash reserves set to run out within two years". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  24. ^ a b Grant, Kelly (November 9, 2007). "McCallion shows Miller how it's done". Canada: National Post. 
  25. ^ Paula Todd. Studio Two Television Interview, TVOntario, 2006. Todd asks McCallion whether she is a 'feminist'. The exchange that follows is paraphrased.
  26. ^ "Who's Who of American Women". Marquis Who's Who LLC. 
  27. ^ a b "Toronto Gala". Consumers Choice Institute. 2000. 
  28. ^ World Mayor. The World Mayor project. 2005 Runner-Up Award
  29. ^ a b Hertz, Barry (November 8, 2007). "We do things quickly here: Hazel McCallion". National Post. 
  30. ^ Miller, Jason (November 9, 2008). "Mississauga parties with Regis and Hazel". Toronto Star. 
  31. ^ Hoskins Discussed Health Ministry, Sousa Finance, With Pupatello Prior To Supporting Wynne: Senior Sources. Ontario News Watch. 2013-02-07.
  32. ^ Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion endorses Kathleen Wynne. CBC News. 2014-05-14.
  33. ^ "Palestinians get support from Mississauga mayor", Globe and Mail, 23 May 1983, 5.
  34. ^ "Trillium Gala honours Mayor Hazel McCallion and issues Cardiac Challenge to the community", April 25, 2008.
  35. ^ San Grewal, "Hazel McCallion at 90: ‘the poster child for seniors’", 14 February 2011.
  36. ^ http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/%7Ew3newlib/news_docs/PAC_ExpressFebruary%202005.pdf
  37. ^ http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/745435/sheridan-college-s-90th-birthday-gift-to-mayor-hazel-mccallion-will-honour-her-legacy
  38. ^ "Profiles of Notable Women in Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. 
  39. ^ On the Edge: Women Making Hockey History, p. 80, by Elizabeth Etue and Megan K. Williams, Second Story Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1996, ISBN 0-929005-79-1
  40. ^ "Mississauga". City Mayors, of Canada. 
  41. ^ "George Carter turns 90". Mississauga News. 
  42. ^ http://www.canadaisbetter.com/2010/03/12/rick-mercer-interviews-hurricane-hazel/
  43. ^ http://www.mississauga.com/what's%20on/article/1319243--i-saw-that-picture-before
  44. ^ "Mayor Hazel McCallion Awarded the Order of the Rising Sun". City of Mississauga. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 

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