THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
Pages of Special Interest;
Other Table of Contents;
Scanned, recopied or Internet copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Toronto Sun - Aug. 13, 2009 - By Joe Warmington
Huzzahs for Hurricane Hazel
Mississauga's mayor vows to run again and win her 12th term.
-- Comic legend Gordie Tapp, 87.
Not only is Mayor Hazel McCallion running but she's also fishing, playing hockey, working 16-hour days and keeping Mississauga's books in the black, too.
Yes, it looks like Hurricane Hazel has plenty of wind in those sails yet.
"I am going to run," the 88-year-old Mississauga mayor said yesterday of her intentions for the 2010 election.
Of course, her official announcement won't come until January when candidates register.
But on board the Salmon Express charter boat off of Port Credit, she made it clear.
"Even the premier asked me that this week," she says while on board with a group that included Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson, Gordie Tapp of Hee Haw fame and Great Ontario Salmon Derby chairman Walter Oster.
"At this point I have no plans to retire. I am in excellent health and I love this job," she said.
If she follows through and wins, it will be to seek her 12th term as mayor -- the title she has held since 1978.
Born Feb. 14, 1921, it would see her sworn into office just weeks shy of her 90th birthday and if she finishes the four years it would have her just shy of 94.
"She's just trying to beat my major city record of 31 years," jokes former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman. "I hope she goes until she is 100. Who is better than Hazel? Noooobody."
"She's like Fidel Castro or Queen Elizabeth II in longevity -- only elected," jokes comedian Frenchie McFarlane. "And like them, was in office to witness a Maple Leaf Stanley Cup parade."
Canada's longest serving mayor may be Westport's Bill Thake at 40 years but it appears already McCallion is Canada's oldest mayor.
"I love the people of Mississauga and as long as my health is good and I feel I can manage the large agenda I will be there," she says.
Of course, running is kind of the wrong way to describe it since McCallion has never lost an election, doesn't campaign and won in 2005 by 92% of the vote.
But with a coy look in her face, she hinted she would welcome all comers? Could it mean a battle royale between Hurricane Hazel and her perceived rival, former MP and Ward 6 Mississuaga Councillor Carolyn Parrish?
"If somebody feels they can do this job better they should put their name on the ballot. It's good for democracy," says McCallion, who spent a lot of time on the fishing charter on the phone working.
Not happening, says Parrish. "I would never run against her. She is an icon and to do that would be disrespectful."
McCallion says the described acrimony between the two is a myth. "She is a hard worker and we get along fine."
Either way, the last thing Parrish would want to do is get into any kind of race with the much-loved Hurricane.
"I think the mayor's knees are better than mine," jokes Parrish, 62, adding she also knows, "I would lose."
Parrish adds with a laugh she is "patient" and will wait her turn. At Hazel's pace, that patience might get tested.
LEADERS OF THE PACK - WHO REALLY IS CANADA'S LONGEST RULING MAYOR?
31 years - Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has been in office since 1978.
38 years - Raymond Lagace of Atholville, N.B., has led his community since 1971.
40 years - Westport, Ont., Mayor Bill Thake has been the village's leader since 1969.
Comments by others, 15, to this web-page;
D. August 14th 2009, 3:17am
You have a mayor now that will be a legend. Just not for the same reasons.
Steve Watson August 13th 2009, 7:44pm
Hazel for PM August 13th 2009, 5:21pm
Tom Beshoff August 13th 2009, 4:21pm
sayed August 13th 2009, 1:04pm
charles August 13th 2009, 12:52pm
tim August 13th 2009, 12:09pm
R. Stephens August 13th 2009, 11:58am
If there were more of her, there would be fewer of the others.
Best Regards Hazel!
P. LittleCD August 13th 2009, 11:43am
Jack August 13th 2009, 10:14am
Bolo August 13th 2009, 9:40am
RV August 13th 2009, 9:39am
Raine August 13th 2009, 8:57am
Vez August 13th 2009, 8:53am
LOL. Who is she kidding. Her decision has nothing to do with respect. Parrish knows she doesn't stand a chance and more likely does not want to lose political capital that would result in losing an election. If she believed she had a chance I would be willing to bet she would go for it in a heartbeat.
jon August 13th 2009, 8:46am
[COMMENTS BY DON B. - ]
Your Financial Donations are Greatly Appreciated