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Farewell Hazel McCallion, the oldest mayor in Canada

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Culture & Entertainment

Farewell Hazel McCallion, the oldest mayor in Canada

Hazel_McCallion Today is a sad day in Mississauga. Today we're saying farewell to Hazel McCallion, our beloved mayor! In Mississauga, Hazel is a legend. She has run the city since 1978, winning 12 elections, despite the fact that she refuses to campaign. In fact, she tells people wanting to donate to her re-election to donate to charity instead. But today will be the first election in 36 years that Hazel  is not on the ballot. At 93, Hazel is set to retire...well "retire" in the sense that she's no longer running the city, but in no way is she slowing down. When you meet Hazel, you probably wouldn't guess that she's the longest running mayor of Mississauga. She looks like your average grandmother tiny and sweet with pure white hair. But a sweet little old lady is not how we describe Hazel! We call her Hurricane Hazel. She's a spitfire, who has fought for our city. I remember the first time I met Hazel. I was in grade five and she came to speak to our school. It felt like the Queen was coming the excitement was so high. I don't remember what she said, I was too in awe to really soak it all in. Here was this woman who was so tiny and well past the age of retirement, but she was still working. Actually, not working, but fighting for her city. I felt inspired by her as a young woman. And inspired by her as a Canadian. Over her 36 years of power, Hazel has grown Mississauga from a small suburban city to the sixth largest city in Canada. She helped the city through a train-derailment where most of the citizens had to be evacuated. But there was no panic because Hazel was at the reigns. Of course, Hazel has made mistakes. You can't run a city for 36 years without mistakes! Most notably a conflict of interest case that she was cleared of. Hazel leaves a city where property taxes are high and so is the debt. But despite this, Hazel will be missed. It's the end of an era and I'm not sure anyone can fill her shoes. But her legacy will live on. I for one will constantly think of Hazel's mantra  “Think like a man, act like a lady and work like a dog.” That she certainly did. We will miss you Hazel! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Eglantine (Fluer-Ange Lamothe)  
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Farewell Hazel McCallion, the oldest mayor in Canada

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