Mississauga, ON – Mississauga–Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat and Mayor Bonnie Crombie hosted a joint celebration today with hundreds of local residents to mark Ontario’s first Hazel McCallion Day. MPPs, city councillors and community leaders joined in congratulating McCallion on receiving the special honour, including one of Ontario’s most powerful women, Premier Kathleen Wynne, who surprised McCallion by dropping by.
February 14th, which is McCallion’s birthday, became known as Hazel McCallion Day in Ontario when a Private Member’s Bill introduced to the Legislature by MPP Mangat passed in December 2016. In an unusual display of all-party cooperation, the bill passed unanimously. In addition to acknowledging McCallion’s lifetime of contributions to her community, the bill seeks to encourage more women to consider pursuing public life. Currently, in Canada, women are underrepresented in professional, business and community leadership when compared to men.
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 supporter of post-secondary education and health-care in Mississauga, as well as a fundraiser for charities.
McCallion has received international acclaim for her leadership and won countless awards and honours for her work, not to least of which is having a school, college campus, health care facility – and most recently a day – named for her.
MPP Mangat first introduced the Hazel McCallion Day Act 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 and when the Legislature resumed sitting the bill became known as Bill 16, and was passed in December of that year.
"Hazel McCallion's leadership, determination and generosity never cease to amaze me. So let today, and every February 14th after this, remind us of the positive change that can be achieved in our communities when we work hard and stay focused. And let it remind us of the woman who worked tirelessly to build one of this province’s most celebrated cities."
- Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“There is more gender equality in our society than when McCallion began her journey in public service, but women are still under-represented in professional, business and community leadership in Canada when compared to many other countries. That makes McCallion’s example important for young women, so that they may be inspired to pursue their dreams – and hopefully lives of public service – even while they are mothers, athletes, professionals and businesswomen – just as Hazel McCallion has been.”
- Amrit Mangat, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga–Brampton South
"I want to congratulate my colleague, Mississauga–Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat, on the successful passage of the bill she sponsored at the Ontario Legislature, which proclaims February 14 of each year as Hazel McCallion Day – an opportunity for all Ontarians to celebrate the legendary city-builder, Hazel McCallion."
- Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga
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MPP Amrit Mangat
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