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Opening comments:  More at the end.

To the main Judicial Inquiry page - to the Hazel McCallion page.

National Post - Mar. 2, 2010 - By Megan O'Toole -

4 More years?
McCallion keeping mum
Yet to file papers

Two months into Mississauga's mayoral race, Hazel McCallion has yet to register for re-election, despite repeated public pledges to run again.

Her absence leaves the field devoid of any real contenders so far, spurring one council rival to speculate Ms. McCallion may be biding her time strategically, or even planning to bow out further down the line.

"Don't watch what they say, watch what they do," Councillor Carolyn Parrish said yesterday.  "This is very late for her to register, I'm told, but she's been announcing 'four more years' at recent social functions."

Once registered, Ms. Parrish noted, a candidate's spending must be recorded, with everything from image consultants to wine-bottle labels required to adhere to Municipal Election Act guidelines.

"Also, if registration is delayed, there's time to see how the inquiry turns out," Ms. Parrish said, referring to the pending judicial inquiry that will examine a host of city business dealings, including Ms. McCallion's alleged involvement in a failed multimillion-dollar land deal brokered by her son.

"Keeping everyone guessing keeps others who may want to run-- should she decide not to at the last minute -- from getting organized and puts her in a better position to choose a successor," Ms. Parrish said.

Ms. McCallion, 89, did not respond to messages requesting comment on the matter.  Other councillors, however, say they have no reason to believe Ms. McCallion, who enjoys spectacular popularity among the electorate, will not seek the mayor's chair again.

"There's a long window before the day comes," Councillor Nando Iannicca said, noting most Mississaugans would "welcome seeing her name" on the ballot.

"It's not unusual that she doesn't do it in the first couple of months," he said. "I'm not taken aback.  I would fully expect to see her name again on the ballot."

Councillor George Carlson said while it was possible Ms. McCallion was waiting on the inquiry outcome or aiming to select a last-minute successor, "the opposite could also be true -- that Hazel feels she has to run in order to clear her name."

With eight months still to go before election day, Mr. Carlson said, Ms. McCallion may have simply not gotten around to registering yet, but he believes she ultimately will.

"Hazel will run until she can't run anymore," Mr. Carlson said.

As of yesterday, every Mississauga councillor except one had registered to seek re-election in their respective wards.  The exception was veteran Maja Prentice, a Mc-Callion ally who represents Ward 3.

Asked why she was waiting, or whether she planned to pursue something else, Ms. Prentice declined to comment.

Though Ms. McCallion has yet to register, the prospect that she will has kept other potential candidates from throwing their hat in the ring.

Tom Urbaniak, an academic who has written extensively on Ms. McCallion's tenure, noted yesterday she has often waited until the last minute to register. However, the mayor has been "very worried and very preoccupied" with the divisions on council, he said, particularly as it has diminished her ability to manage city affairs.

Her next term could prove even more difficult, Mr. Urbaniak said.

"There would be a calculation on the council and within the city administration that that's the last term," he said, noting Ms. McCallion may consequently be perceived as a "lame duck" to some extent.

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