(Queen’s Park) – This morning, MPPs voted unanimously to allow Bill 16, the Hazel McCallion Day Act, to pass Third Reading. It received Royal Assent and was made provincial law in a ceremony that followed shortly afterwards. Most Private Member’s Bills do not have the opportunity to reach Third Reading, though Bill 16 progressed quickly through the legislature, adding to the uniqueness of the occasion.
The author of the bill, MPP Amrit Mangat (Mississauga–Brampton South) wanted to honour Hazel McCallion for her historic 47-year career in public service, including 36 years as mayor of Mississauga, and her continuing work to improve her community through supporting charitable causes and the expansion of postsecondary education. The bill stipulates that February 14th, which is Hazel McCallion’s birthday, will be remembered provincially as Hazel McCallion Day. Most importantly, MPP Mangat hopes the bill will draw attention to the role of women in public life and encourage more of them to consider careers of public service.
Despite the relative gender balance of Ontario’s population it is reported that fewer women occupy leadership positions in business, professions and government.
The bill found widespread support through the province, and especially among Mississauga residents and community leaders.
McCallion’s life of accomplishments and contributions to her community have won her respect and admiration. When first elected as mayor of Streetsville, in 1970, the city of Mississauga barely resembled what it has become: Canada’s sixth largest city and an important centre of business and industry. In addition to the growth that McCallion oversaw and encouraged, she served an historic 36 years as mayor, often gaining more than 90 per cent of the vote share. Even after formally retiring from public life, in 2014, McCallion has remained an active support of post-secondary education and health-care in Mississauga, as well as a fundraiser for charities.
McCallion has gained international renown for her leadership and won countless awards and honours for her work, not the least of which is having a school, a college campus and health care facility named for her.
MPP Mangat previously introduced this legislation as Bill 215 in June of 2016. The government’s decision to prorogue the Ontario Legislature, however, meant that the bill needed to be reintroduced. Bills are given a number which corresponds to the order of introduction.
“Women, and especially young women, have much to offer in professional and even political life and yet they are under-represented in leadership and decision-making positions. Bill 16 will help them to see what women can achieve by drawing attention to the superb example of Hazel McCallion. McCallion was herself an businessperson, a politician, an athlete and a mother and she continues to have an active community life. She has from an early time, and even now, made a real difference in the lives of people throughout her community and Ontario.”
- Amrit Mangat, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga–Brampton South
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MPP Amrit Mangat
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