Hazel McCallion was first elected Mayor of Mississauga in November, 1978, and is the longest serving Mayor in the City's history. She was acclaimed in 1980, re-elected in 1982 and 1985, acclaimed again in 1988 and re-elected in 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2010.
Mayor McCallion was born in Port Daniel on the Gaspe Coast of Quebec and educated in Quebec City and Montreal. She then began her career in Montreal with Canadian Kellogg, an engineering and contracting firm, and was transferred to Toronto in 1942 to help set up the local office. Mayor McCallion was involved in many projects including the Lakeview Generating Station, the British American refinery in Clarkson, the first synthetic rubber plant in Sarnia and the pilot project for the tar sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Mayor McCallion remained with the company for 19 years. In 1967 she decided to leave the corporate world and devote her career to politics.
Mayor McCallion was named as a new member of the Streetsville Planning Board in 1964 and served as Chair of the Board in 1966 and again in 1968. Later that same year, she became Deputy Reeve of Streetsville. Mayor McCallion was appointed Reeve, and then elected as Mayor of Streetsville in 1970, serving until December, 1973. When the Region of Peel was established in 1974, Mayor 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, including President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) from 1978 - 79. She is now in her twelfth term as Mayor.
In 1991, Mayor 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. Mayor 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 promotion of the GTA. From 1992 to January 2000, the Committee, chaired by Mayor McCallion, was a strong voice on key issues affecting the future of the GTA. As part of that effort, she is a founder and Honorary Co-chair of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. In 1996, Mayor McCallion was appointed to the "Who Does What" Panel established by the Province to review the delivery and funding of government services. She was also appointed to two sub-panels: Assessment and Property Taxation Reform, and Emergency Services.
In addition, the Mayor represented the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) on the Electricity Transition Committee for the Ministry of Electricity, Science and Technology. In February 2002, Mayor McCallion was appointed Chair of the Central Ontario Smart Growth Panel by the Hon. Chris Hodgson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. The panel, made up of 22 local government officials and business leaders, advised the provincial government on how to plan for growth for the central region in both the short and long term. In addition to the pressing issue of growth, the panel looked at other issues including gridlock and waste disposal. The panel, the largest in the province, includes the cities of Brantford and Kawartha Lakes, the Counties of Dufferin, Simcoe and Peterborough, the Regions of Niagara, Waterloo, Halton, Peel, York and Durham, as well as the City of Toronto.
Mayor 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). Mayor 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. In addition, Her Worship has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International in 1985 and 1992, awarded the Lions International President's Award, awarded the Helen Keller Fellowship from the Mississauga Lions Clubs and named a Melvin Jones Fellow for dedicated humanitarian services by Lions Clubs International.
In 2001, Mayor McCallion was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame and presented with a special Award of Excellence in celebration of the Mississauga Board of Trade's 25th Anniversary. In January 2003, Mayor McCallion received the Canadian Family Values Award from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In September 2003, Mayor McCallion received one of the top leadership awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) for her leadership and dedication to addressing economic development issues in Mississauga. In 2004, Mayor McCallion became a finalist for the title World Mayor 2004, joining some 50 mayors from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. The competition intends to raise the profile of mayors worldwide, as well as honour those who have served their communities well and who have contributed to the well-being of cities, nationally and internationally.
In 2005, Mayor McCallion was invested as Dame in the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, the Hereditary Order. In May, she was honoured with an award from the Province of Ontario in recognition of her more than 30 years of service as a municipal elected official.
The Mayor's accolades continued in 2005, as Mayor McCallion was appointed Member of the Order of Canada and received her Insignia of Member of the Order of Canada at a ceremony held at Rideau Hall on November 18, 2005. Then on December 5, 2005 it was announced that Mayor McCallion was the runner up to Mayor Dora Bakoyannis of Athens, Greece for World Mayor 2005.
In early 2006, Mayor McCallion was recognized as the CNW Communicator of the Year by the Toronto Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Mayor McCallion has also been recognized by Reader's Digest as the Best City Mayor in their June 2006 issue featuring "Canada's 30 Best". In September, Mayor McCallion was named a Professional Land Economist by the Association of Ontario Land Economists. Mayor McCallion was also honoured by the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation with their 2006 Golden Achievement Award. 2006 wrapped up in award winning style, as the City of Mississauga and the Healthy City Stewardship Centre were awarded the 2006 World Leadership Award for the Stewardship Centre Initiative and the Healthy Mississauga 2010 Plan.
In March of 2007, Mayor McCallion was named a member of the Metrolinx Board of Directors. In April, Mayor McCallion was presented with the inaugural President's Award by the Professional Engineers of Ontario during their annual Order of Honour Awards Gala Ceremony. In May, Mayor McCallion was recognized by Hockey Canada at their Annual General Meeting with their Female Breakthrough Award. June saw Mayor McCallion receive the EVE Award, for her contribution of more than 30 years of service to public life by the Board of Directors of Equal Voice and the Canadian Club. In September, Mayor McCallion was one of eight finalists for the JoAnna Townsend Award, which honours a woman who helps women entrepreneurs achieve success in international business. In November, Mayor McCallion was named 2007 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women's Executive Network and was awarded with a Trailblazers and Trendsetters award.
In January of 2008, the Mississauga Chapter of Scouts Canada awarded Mayor McCallion with the Centennial Medal in honour of her support to scouting. At the annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in May, Mayor McCallion was honoured with an award for outstanding service in municipal politics. October saw Mayor McCallion honoured by the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association with the Robert Baldwin Award. This award recognizes a career of achievement and service in the field of municipal administration, significant and lasting contributions to municipal and local government in Ontario, and service to the community, Ontario and Canada by those who work in municipal government. Mayor McCallion is the first elected official to receive this award. On October 16, Mayor McCallion was honoured by Enersource with the naming of a Municipal Substation after her.
On February 24, 2009, Mayor McCallion was honoured by The Biotechnology Initiative with the Community Service Award for her support of the Life Sciences sector in Mississauga. On June 5, Mayor McCallion was honoured by the Canadian Urban Institute with the 2009 Urban Leadership Award in the City Prosperity Category. In August, Mayor McCallion was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the Mayor's contribution to society and an ambassador of good will and fellowship around the world.
In April 2010, Mayor McCallion was honoured by the Mississauga Board of Trade with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the community, province and country. On June 7, Mayor McCallion was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by the University of Toronto during their convocation ceremony for graduates of the University of Toronto Mississauga. Mayor McCallion was honoured with the honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of her remarkable contributions to public life. In October Mayor McCallion was elected to her 12th consecutive as Mayor of Mississauga.
In March 2011, Mayor McCallion was honoured by the Ottawa Chapter of the Famous 5 as a “Nation Builder”. The Famous 5 Ottawa’s aim is to raise awareness of the Persons Case, where in 1929, thanks to the efforts of the Famous Five, Canadian women were legally declared persons.
In May 2012, Mayor McCallion was honoured by the Learning Partnership with a Lifetime Achievement Award for dedication and commitment to enhancing our public education system. In June, Mayor McCallion received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal presented 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.
In April 2013, Mayor McCallion was honoured by the University of Toronto Mississauga Alumni Association with their Paul A. Fox Award for her outstanding volunteer service to the Mississauga Campus.
In February 2014, Mayor McCallion was awarded the Community Leadership Award from the Economic Development Council of Ontario. The award was presented to honour Mayor McCallion's ongoing support for economic development and her longstanding record as Mayor of the City of Mississauga. In April, Mayor McCallion received the Community Builder Award from the United Way of Peel Region. The award recognizes an individual that has led the United Way to new levels of innovation and impact through its Give, Volunteer and Act efforts.
In June 2014, Mayor McCallion received the Order of the Rising Sun awarded by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan for her contributions to Japan-Canada relations through her welcoming support of Japanese businesses in Mississauga. It also recognizes her invaluable participation in the sister-city initiative between Mississauga and Kariya, Japan, which were twinned in July 1981.
During the summer of 2014, Mayor McCallion received the Zafrulla Khan Award from Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada for her years of distinguished service to the community. She also received the Honourary Life Member Award from the Association of Municipalities Ontario to acknowledge her passionate advocacy of municipal government. As well, the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board honoured Mayor McCallion by presenting her with the Catholic Award of Merit.
Some other interesting credits:
- Past Chairman, Mississauga Taxicab Authority
- Past Chairman, Mississauga Planning Committee
- Past Chairman, Mississauga Sign Committee
- Past Chair, World Health Organization Symposiums on Healthy Cities
- Past Vice-Chairman, Advisory Committee on Local Government Management
- Past President, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
- Past Vice-President, World Conference of Mayors
- Past member, Municipal Liaison Committee
- Past Board of Directors, Regional Director - Canada, American Public Transportation Association
- Governor, Canada Jaycees
- Chair, Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO)
- Board of Directors, Enersource Hydro Mississauga Corporation
- Member, Advisory Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) Centre for Health Development
- Past Member, Greater Toronto Transit Authority Board (GO Transit)
- Member, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), Nomination Ad Hoc Committee
- Member, Region of Peel, Local Governance Ad Hoc Committee
- Member, Canadian Federation of Municipalities
- Member, Advisory Council for University Scholarships of Canada
- Member, Advisory Council on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods
- Member, Transit Integration Steering Committee
- Honorary Chair, ecoSource Mississauga
- Honorary Chair, Women's World Hockey Tournament, 1987, 1997 and 2000
- Honorary Chair, Mississauga Technology Association
- Honorary Chair, 2003 Purple Ribbon Campaign for Peel Children's Aid Foundation
- Honorary Director, Mississauga Chinese Business Association
- Honorary international member, Beta Sigma Phi
- Honorary life member, Polish Alliance of Canada
- Honorary life member, Mississauga Real Estate Board
- Honourable member, Board of Regents, Ontario Women's Hockey Association
- Honorary member Mississauga Kinsmen
- Honorary member Mississauga Central Lions Club
- Honorary member Mississauga Rotary Club
- Honorary member, Alpha Delta Kappa
- Honorary member, National Council of the Boy Scouts of Canada
- Honorary member, Mississauga Italian-Canadian Business and Professional Association
- Honorary member, Probus Club of Streetsville
- Honorary Chair of Carassauga
- Journeyman's Certificate from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
- Honorary Chair, Mississauga Construction Association
- Named a Professional Land Economist by the Association of Ontario Land Economists
- Metrolinx Board Member
- Hazel McCallion Senior Public School (opened in 1991)
- Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, University of Toronto Mississauga (opened 2007)
In addition, Mayor McCallion has established many citizens' committees:
- Mayor's Task Force on Building Deficiencies
- Mayor's Energy Task Force
- Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee
- Mayor's Youth Opportunities Committee
- Mississauga Clean City Campaign (ecoSource Mississauga)
- Mississauga Sports Council
- Mississauga Arts Council
- Mississauga Friendship Association (Kariya, Japan - Mississauga Twin Cities)
- Economic Development Advisory Committee
- Citizens' Task Force on the Future of Mississauga
- Mississauga Arts Review Taskforce
- Mayor's Task Force on Sports
Mayor McCallion was married to Sam McCallion who passed away in 1997. She has three children: Peter, Linda and Paul, and one granddaughter, Erika. Mayor McCallion enjoys many sports including ice hockey, fishing and also enjoys gardening.
Updated: May 2013