Susan Fennell

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Susan Fennell
Mayor Fennell warms up the crowd for cheering.JPG
Mayor Fennell warming up the crowd, before the 2005 season opener for the Brampton Battalion hockey team
49th Mayor of Brampton
Assumed office
Preceded by Peter Robertson
Brampton City Councillor for Ward 3
In office
Preceded by John Shadrach
Personal details
Born 1953
Saint-Laurent, Quebec
Political party Independent (1988 – present) Note: Municipal politicians in Brampton run on a Nonpartisan basis
Residence Brampton

Susan Fennell is the mayor of Brampton, Ontario, Canada. She was also the Founder and Commissioner of the National Women's Hockey League.


In 1953, Susan Fennell was born in Saint-Laurent, a borough of Montreal, Quebec.[1] She completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in environmental science from the University of Toronto at Mississauga in 1977.[2][3] She and her husband John have two adult children, Michael and Joey.[3] Before entering politics she worked for 11 years for Toledo Scale.[4]

Political career[edit]

Fennell's first foray into politics was with her 1988 election to Brampton City Council for Ward 3.[4] That same year she was first elected to the Board of Governors of Sheridan College, where she served as one of the directors until 1995.[4] During her time as a city councillor, Fennell was actively involved in several committees, including those for Economic Development and Official Plan Review.[4] This period also saw Fennell active on the Airport Tri-Municipal Committee, the Brampton Board of Trade, and the Downtown Business Improvement Area.[2]

In 1991, Fennell was elected to Peel Regional Council to represent Wards 3 and 4.[2] Her first term as a regional councillor saw her chair the Brampton Budget Committee and saw the first zero-tax increase in Peel Region's history in 1993.[4] During her stint at the regional council, Fennell also chaired the Public Works Committee and the Economic Development Committee. She was also involved in the governing council of the Board of Trade[4] and the Highway 427 Extension Committee.[5]

The 1993 federal election, saw her run as the Progressive Conservative candidate in the Brampton riding, finishing third.

As mayor[edit]

In 2000, Fennell defeated three-term incumbent Peter Robertson for the Brampton mayoralty. She was re-elected in 2003, defeating councillor Bill Cowie by a 28% margin.[6] Fennell was re-elected to a third term in 2006 with 79.85% of the vote, defeating the nearest competitor by a 61% margin.[7] In 2010, Fennell was elected to her fourth term with 50.68% of the vote.[8]

She acted to protect Brampton's position on Peel Regional Council, including negotiating with the designated provincial facilitator, Justice George Adams. However, the Ontario Legislature voted against the recommendation and instead increased the seats on Peel Regional Council in Mississauga's favour instead of allotting more in Brampton's favour to provide for future population growth in Brampton as was recommended by the provincial facilitator.[9][10]

While mayor, Fennell has twice served as chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, as well as being a part of the Federal Big City Mayor's Caucus (BCMC). In 2007 she was elected chair of the FCM Federal Ontario Municipal Caucus and continues to serve in this role after her re-election at the 2012 FCM AGM in Saskatoon.[3] She is also a member of the Peel Regional Police Services Board, the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance.,[3] and the GO-Transit Board.

During Fennell's tenure as mayor, Brampton has become and remains debt free and also holds a Triple AAA Credit Rating.[3] In 2007, Brampton was designated an Internationally Safe Community, by the World Health Organization, one of only 10 cities designated in North America.[citation needed] In 2007, Brampton was named a finalist in the World Leadership Forum, for best led city in the category of town planning.

In 2008, Fennell called for an environment master plan, and created the Environment Committee of Council, with citizens, academia and business involved.

City projects during her time as mayor have included the Rose Theatre, Flower City Seniors Centre, Chinguacousy Park Skateboard Park, Cassie Campbell Community Centre, Brampton Soccer Centre, Full renovation of Earnscliffe Recreation Centre and Century Gardens and Züm rapid transit.

Hockey commissioner[edit]

Fennell was instrumental in the creation of the National Women's Hockey League, the premier women's hockey league in North America. She served as its commissioner from its inception in 1999 until her retirement in July 2006.[11]


Fennell is an Honorary Member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15, an Honorary Member of the Brampton Kiwanis and Zonta clubs, and has been honoured with Rotary International's Paul Harris Fellowship.[3] In 2005 she was named an honorary member of the William Osler Health Centre Board of Directors.[3] She is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.[3] and has been presented the Boy Scouts "Lord Baden Powell" Medal.

In 2006 she was inducted into the City of Brampton Sports Hall of Fame in the "Builder" category for her role in the creation and growth of the NWHL.[1] In December 2008, Mayor Fennell was presented an honorary fifth degree black belt in Tai Kwon Do, presented by Grand Master Ken Cheung.


External links[edit]