Hazel McCallion (1921 - )
Hazel McCallion was the longest-serving mayor in Mississauga, Ontario (1978 to 2014), known as “Hurricane Hazel” because of her outspoken political style.
- Early in her career, a psychic predicted inaccurately that she would only last for one term in office.
- McCallion was born on the Gaspé peninsula in Quebec, and she went to business secretarial school in Quebec City and Montreal. Her family could not afford to send her to university.
- She played for a professional women’s hockey team in Montreal.
- In 1979 a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in Mississauga, followed by a large explosion and fire. McCallion led the peaceful evacuation of the city despite the fact that she herself was injured with a sprained ankle.
- During elections, she refused to accept political donations and asked her supporters to donate the money to charity.
- She is known for keeping Mississauga debt-free during her time as mayor.
- McCallion formed Hazel’s Hope, a campaign to fund health care for children affected with AIDS and HIV in southern Africa.
- In 2018, at the age of 97, she was appointed by Ontario Premier Doug Ford as a special adviser on municipal affairs and housing.