Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion says she hasn’t formally agreed to be a special adviser to Premier Doug Ford and is awaiting further details before she decides whether to accept.
The Ontario government announced in a news release last week that Ms. McCallion had been appointed as a special adviser to Mr. Ford and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark, a position that pays as much as $150,000 a year.
But Ms. McCallion, who turns 98 next month, told The Globe and Mail on Wednesday she has yet to decide whether the position will conflict with her numerous other part-time jobs, which include consulting for Revera Inc., an owner and operator of seniors’ facilities.
“We’re negotiating the conditions. I don’t know what time is going to be involved," Ms. McCallion said.
Ms. McCallion said she was unaware the government would be making an announcement until she read news articles about it last week.
A fixture in municipal politics, Ms. McCallion served as mayor of Mississauga for 36 years between 1978 and 2014. Under her tenure, Mississauga, a city west of Toronto, grew to be the sixth-largest in Canada.
That experience is what the government hopes to draw on, with Ms. McCallion advising the Premier on a range of municipal issues.
She praised Mr. Ford for his desire to “bring efficiencies” to government as well as his decision to slash Toronto city council.
“That’s been on the agenda for years, that they’ve had far too many councillors and he had the courage to take action on that right away,” she said.
The government said this week that Ms. McCallion will be paid a standard rate of up to $1,000 in per diems, to a maximum of $150,000 annually.
However, she disputed that report. “It is not a salary. That is ridiculous … It was a budget that was set up,” Ms. McCallion said.
Neither Mr. Clark, nor Mr. Ford’s office immediately responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.