Comedian Rick Mercer recalls his ‘date’ with former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion
Published January 30, 2023 at 2:11 pm
Comedian Rick Mercer is among the many Canadians paying tribute to former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.
McCallion, Mississauga’s fifth mayor who served for 36 years, died early Sunday morning at the age of 101.
Tributes for “Hurricane Hazel” have poured in from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and many others.
And Rick Mercer shared his memory of the feisty mayor. He visited McCallion for a segment on his show The Mercer Report, which aired on Feb. 24, 2009.
“My Date with Hazel McCallion,” Mercer tweeted today (Jan. 30).
McCallion was 88 years old at the time and had been mayor for 31 years.
“How do you stay in office for 31 years?” Mercer asks McCallion at the beginning of the segment.
“Well, you have to look after your people, and you keep taxes down and bring lots of jobs into the city,” she said.
At that time, Mercer noted the city was also debt free.
“You have outlasted eight prime ministers,” Mercer added.
“Oh, my gosh, I didn’t realize that,” McCallion responded.
The “date” with McCallion includes a spin around the ice rink at city hall where Mercer asks about her hockey career. McCallion was one of Canada’s first female professional hockey players.
Her love of hockey was still strong — she kept skates in her car.
“Sometimes, I go down to an arena in the daytime and get a hockey stick and a puck and get out on a sheet of ice, all by myself,” she said.
The conversation continues as the pair ride stationary cycles, and Mercer asks about McCallion’s political strategy. McCallion said she never stopped campaigning.
“I win the next election the day after the last one.”
They visit more places around city hall, and Mercer asks why McCallion hadn’t retired.
“First of all, there are still challenges for Mississauga,” she said. “And secondly, I don’t know what I would do and therefore I want to keep busy.”
They then head out bowling and Mercer says he is “exhausted.”
The conversation moves on the regrets and McCallion admits the community struggles with transportation issues.
“Transportation was not a basis of our development, unfortunately, therefore we are now struggling to provide a major public transport system.”
Last year, Metrolinx announced the LRT Line will be named the Hazel McCallion Line.
Mercer asked if she had any personal regrets.
“I have never been in a music video,” McCallion said with a completely straight face.
The segment ends with a mock music video featuring McCallion, councillors, and community members singing and dancing to Hot Child in the City.
See the full segment here: