Hazel McCallion, a political firebrand who served 36 years as mayor of Mississauga, Ont., died on Sunday at the age of 101. Reactions, recollections and condolences have poured in from numerous public figures. A sample of some of the tributes:
“There isn’t a single person who met Hazel who didn’t leave in awe of her force of personality . . . . As I entered the world of politics, I was fortunate enough to learn from her wisdom and guidance, which she selflessly offered until the very end.”
— Ontario Premier Doug Ford
“My dear friend Hazel was an extraordinary woman who wore many hats: a businessperson, an athlete, a politician, and one of Canada’s — and the world’s — longest-serving mayors. Nicknamed Hurricane Hazel for her bold political style, she was unstoppable.”
— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Her hockey chats were legendary and always left me smiling! She was always there at Pearson to greet the team when we touched down after Olympic Games. Always supporting and pushing for better. ‘When you give the best to whatever you do, the best will come back to you,’ was one of my favourite quotes of hers. Hazel McCallion, what a force, what a life. Simply put, thank you for paving the way.”
— Women’s Hockey star and former Team Canada captain Hayley Wickenheiser.
“‘Do your homework’ and ‘Have a plan!’ Advice for life and politics from a great woman. Hazel was one of a kind and she gave so much of herself to all of us.”
— former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne.
“Chancellor McCallion leaves a powerful legacy as a champion of education who embodied the values and attributes that we aim to instill in our students . . . . Many of our students saw her as a legend when they had the opportunity to meet her.”
— Janet Morrison, president of Sheridan College where McCallion served as chancellor
“Hurricane Hazel inspired countless women to speak out and have their voices heard, to take the leap into politics and demand a seat at the decision-making table.”
— Bonnie Crombie, McCallion’s successor as mayor of Mississauga.
“She was the iconic mayor of Mississauga for 36 years and built that city from 1978 to 2014. To me, she was also a friend and a mentor. I spoke with her often and had the great privilege of meeting with her twice in the past two weeks, most recently on Tuesday when she was as engaged as ever despite her illness.”
— Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“Hazel McCallion was a force to be reckoned with and a historic trailblazer when it came to Canadian politics. We will miss her passionate advocacy.”
— Andrea Horwath, mayor of Hamilton and longtime provincial NDP leader.
“Hazel McCallion wasn’t just the mayor of Mississauga. She was Canada’s mayor. She was the epitome of hard work and wisdom.”
— Patrick Brown, mayor of Brampton, Ont.
“Hazel McCallion was a true trailblazer in the world of Canadian politics and life. During her unprecedented years as mayor, she brought about tremendous growth and development to Mississauga and made it one of the most prosperous cities in the country.”
— Charles Sousa, former Ontario finance minister and newly elected Liberal MP for the riding of Mississauga-Lakeshore.
“We have lost a Great Canadian. Everybody knew Hazel. Called Hurricane Hazel for good reason! She never stopped. She was tough. She knew what she wanted to get done and always found a way to do it. Friend and mentor who I’ll miss forever.”
— Mohamad Fakih, prominent local business leader and founder of restaurant chain Paramount Fine Foods.