Hazel McCallion, former longtime mayor of Mississauga, Ont., passes away at age 101

Hazel McCallion, a mayor for 36 years of one of Canada’s largest cities, died at the age of 101 on Sunday, leaving behind more than three decades of almost unquestionable leadership and a history of strong progressive politics.

Ford said in a statement announcing her passing that “Hazel was the true definition of a public servant.” “Every single person who met Hazel left in awe of her strength of character. I consider myself very lucky to have known Hazel for all these years as a friend.”

McCallion, the city’s longest-serving mayor, got the nickname “Hurricane Hazel” from her followers because of her outspoken political viewpoint. With two nominations and ten further victories, she ran successfully in twelve municipal elections.

As mayor of Mississauga from 1978 to 2014, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  credited McCallion for “transforming Mississauga from a bedroom community to the sixth largest city in Canada.”

She oversaw some of the city’s worst tragedies, such as the 1979 Mississauga train crash, which happened only a few months after she first assumed power.

A significant explosion was caused when the train carrying hazardous chemicals crashed close to Mavis Road in a densely populated neighborhood. More than 200,000 people were safely evacuated from the city under McCallion’s direction and that of Peel Regional Police.

“My dear friend Hazel was an extraordinary woman with many strings to her bow. She was a businesswoman, athlete, and politician, in addition to being one of the longest-serving mayors in Canada and around the world”. “She was an inspiration to countless people, myself included, during her decades of tireless and dedicated service”. Trudeau said in a statement.

Hazel McCallion’s accomplishments have earned her numerous awards and honors. She has received the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership in Public Service Award and the Key to the City of Mississauga. She was also ranked second for the World’s Best Mayor award, in addition to being named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2005.

McCallion has been given some of the country’s highest honors, including the Order of Canada. In 2016, the province named Feb. 14 ‘Hazel McCallion Day’ in honor of her birthday.

We will remember her as a pioneer whose political career and service to her community will remain an inspiration to all of us Trudeau said in the statement released yesterday