Hazel McCallion, 101, is far from retired. The former mayor of the Canadian city of Mississauga will remain supervisor of Toronto Airport for another three years. Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra officially announced his reappointment last week.
‘Hurricane Hazel’, as the more than century-old politician is also known, was elected mayor of Mississauga in 1978. Her opponent in the election said that because of her gender, he would not make her suitable for the position, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the 36 years that McCallion was mayor, the city west of Toronto has grown from an agricultural community to the seventh largest city in Canada.
McCallion stepped down as mayor in 2014 after 36 years in power, but decided not to sit still. As an influential person, she supported Justin Trudeau, among others, in the election campaign for the Prime Minister of Canada. She has also been an advisor at the University of Toronto for several years, for which the school has praised her for her ‘encyclopedic knowledge of politics’.
Fighting spirit and direct approach
In 2017, the strong Canadian took a seat on the 15-member board of GTTA Airport, which manages Toronto Pearson International Airport. This body acts as a board of trustees and assists Executive Director Deborah Flint and her management team in setting strategic goals.
Born on February 14, 1921, McCallion was nominated for the position by the then Canadian federal government. Her 96 years were no obstacle. So it has now been given a three-year extension. Other regulators are appointed by the province of Ontario, the city of Toronto and various local governments, among others.
Tom Urbaniak, a Canadian academic and author of a book on McCallion, is not surprised that the 101-year-old politician has expanded her position. “She is as active as she can be. She had been arguing with the former airport director for years; he thought he would beat her. He didn’t make it. “
The former mayor is praised across Canada for her combativeness and direct approach. To this he owes his nickname ‘Hurricane Hazel’: Hazel is the name for the hurricane that ravaged Canada in October 1954 and took 81 lives there. McCallion was 33 at the time.
Doug Ford, prime minister of the Canadian province of Ontario, called McCallion an “icon of Canada” on her 100th birthday. “I love her,” Ford said. “She taught me so much as a mentor. She is always there for everyone. ”
says Urbaniak for British newspapers Guard: “She is a great figure in Ontario politics, much bigger than you would expect from a mayor. An old prime minister told me that she was the only Ontario politician who scared him. When he talks about a problem, it’s immediately noticeable. ”
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