former Mayor of Mississauga
Hazel McCallion was born in Port Daniel on the Gaspe Coast of Quebec, and educated in Quebec City and Montreal. She then began a career with Canadian Kellogg, and remained with the company for 19 years. In 1967 she decided to leave the corporate world and devote her career to politics. She was elected Chairman of the Streetsville Planning Board that year, and again in 1968. Later that same year, she became Deputy Reeve of Streetsville. She was later appointed Reeve, then elected Mayor of Streetsville in 1970, serving until December, 1973.
When the Region of Peel was established in 1974, Ms McCallion was elected to the Mississauga and Peel Regional Councils. She served two terms as a Councillor prior to her mayoral campaign in 1978. By the time she was elected Mayor, she had sat on virtually every committee at the Region of Peel and the City of Mississauga. She has also served on the executive of many federal and provincial committees and associations.
In 1991, Ms. McCallion became the first mayor of a major municipality to submit the annual operating budget to residents for their input and scrutiny. She is also among the first mayors of major municipalities to be openly committed to a pay-as-you-go philosophy. The city has not had to borrow money since 1978, and is currently debt-free.
Ms. McCallion also established the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Mayors’ Committee in 1992. She brought together the 30 GTA mayors, later adding the Chair of Metro Toronto and the four Regional Chairs to work co-operatively for the economic recovery of the GTA. From 1992 to January 2000, the Committee, chaired by Ms. McCallion, was a strong voice on key issues affecting the future of the GTA. As part of that effort, she is also Honorary Co-chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. In 1996, Ms. McCallion was appointed to the ‘Who Does What’ Panel established by the province to review the delivery and funding of government services.
In February 2002, Ms. McCallion was appointed Chair of the Central Ontario Smart Growth Panel. The panel, made up of 22 local government officials and business leaders, is advising the provincial government on how to plan for growth for the central region in both the short and long terms. In addition to the pressing issue of growth, the panel is looking at other issues, including gridlock and waste disposal. The panel, the largest in the province, extends from Niagara to Port Hope and Orillia, and includes the Regions of Niagara, Waterloo, Halton, Peel, York and Durham, as well as the City of Toronto.
Ms. McCallion has played a leading role for women in politics. She 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. She was chosen one of the ‘American Women of the Year’ in Who’s Who of American Women (which refers to North American women). Ms. McCallion also holds Germany’s highest individual honour, the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for her role in bringing German companies to Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal was presented to Ms. McCallion by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. This medal was presented to all recipients of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario for their significant achievement and remarkable service.
Ms. McCallion retired from politics in November 2014. In February 2015 she was named special advisor to Professor Deep Saini, vice-president, U of T, and principal of U of T Mississauga.