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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Madam Mayor

In many ways she is remarkable.  Hazel McCallion is the mayor of my home town, Mississauga, Ontario.
She has been the mayor for 35 years, 12 times she has been reelected. She claims this is her last term but I would not bet on it.  She is 92 and still intellectually sharp. The city of Mississauga was largely built to become Canada's 6th largest city under her leadership. It had been a rural area with a number of small communities. She was Mayor of one of them, Streetsville, before she became Mayor of Mississauga in its early days of amalgamation.  Here are some historic photos.

  I post this blog article today, as a celebration,  because she was found not guilty of a conflict of interest  charge which could have forced her to resign.if she had lost. She deserved the shadow of a doubt. her administration has been largely free of corruption over the years. As a political character, she has been a force to contend with. She has come to affectionately be called Hurricane Hazel after the one hurricane that actually struck the Toronto area and caused great damage in 1954. It was also one of the worst hurricane in North Carolina before it crossed the Appalachian Mountains and headed for Toronto.

For some, one of her remarkable accomplishments is that she oversaw the building of the city without incurring any debt or raising much higher taxes. I would call her politically a caring conservative. She thought a city should be run like a business but she also believed a city should meet the needs of all the people.  Not only did they built the structures of a city but she saw that the city had adequate services for all the growing population: schools,hospitals, libraries, skating rinks, swimming pools, parks, waterfront development, etc  Whatever her political abilities are, I think of all those corrupt decaying cities in the United States, like Detroit, which could learn something from our mighty mayor.

If you think I am a fan you are wrong. She is the one that oversaw the destruction of  the place where grew up, Toronto Township in the south end of Peel County. although the actual neighbourhood where Lynne lives and I grew up, is still lovely. I think the city is ugly but then again I think most cities are ugly.  If she had not given developers a free hand I think she could have  built a much more people friendly city. Up until now the development fees that went to the city have largely subsidized the building and maintaining of the city so far. Now that it is largely built, except for a decent public transportation system, the maintaining of the city may have to depend more on taxation. Another mayor may be the one to raise taxation and even borrow money like most cities do.

Mayor Hazel McCallion

I just learned that Hazel McCallion is a French Canadian. She was born and raised in Quebec. She married an Anglo, hence the British name. 

For a real appreciation of Mayor McCallion and, a few laughs, watch the video below, made a few years ago,  when humourist Rick Mercer had her on his they toured around the city.

Yes! our Mayor had been a professional hockey player, in Montreal when she was young. She still carries her skates in her car just in case she has an opportunity to go for a skate. and shoot a few pucks.  How Canadian is that!  She has been a super star in municipal politics, few have been willing to face off against her, it is her puck and she will play with it until she decides to vote herself into the hall of fame and retire. I wish her a long life,. . .oh she already has that!. . . . well many bonus years for sure!


At 8:44 a.m., Blogger Navigator said...

I have spent time with Hazel at civic functions. She is not a person in doubt about very much. She did once say she made a mistake in planning the city centre of Mississauga just south of the 401 highway. It was built there because the municipality got a great deal on the surrounding farmland. If she had it to do all over again she would have built it on the waterfront of Lake Ontario. So, no matter what you might think of how Port Credit has evolved for the worse, be thankful for small mercies.

At 10:03 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's good to know a little more about this lady.

At 5:28 p.m., Blogger possum said...

As usual, an interesting look at a person (place or event) I would never know about. She is an inspiration...

At 4:28 p.m., Blogger judie said...

Wow Philip, what an awesome person you have posted about!

At 7:15 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

See, this is why I read your blog--you never fail to pick a topic about which I know little or nothing.

At 8:45 a.m., Blogger Owen Gray said...

Thirty years ago we lived in Streetsville, Philip. What was true of Hazel then is true of her today: She has taken Dylan Thomas' advice and refuses to go gently into that good night.


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