Former Mississauga mayor McCallion backs Trudeau, but takes him to task
Published September 16, 2021 at 3:03 pm
Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion says she’s backing Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the federal election, but her support is most definitely conditional.
“Any time I support (a candidate), I also tell them what I don’t agree with. I’ll definitely tell them what I don’t like. My support is not unconditional,” McCallion, 100, said this afternoon in an interview with Insauga.com. “I tell them I’ll be honest, let them know what I think.”
True to form, McCallion, who said on a video posted to Instagram that she’s supporting Trudeau “because he has a vision for the future of our great country, Canada,” took the Liberal leader to task when she met with him at a large indoor rally Tuesday night in Brampton, where some 400 supporters gathered.
She told him she didn’t agree with calling an election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s contradictory,” she said. “All levels of government are telling people to stay home and avoid large gatherings, but then you call an election in the middle of a pandemic. The government should be doing things to help people and communities, not (campaigning in an election).”
The former mayor of Canada’s sixth-largest city didn’t stop there.
“I also told him to stop paying people to stay at home. Restaurants and other small businesses are trying to reopen, but they can’t get staff,” said McCallion. “I talk to many small businesses and I tell you, they’re hurting. If you talk to small businesses, you’ll find they’re having great difficulty.”
Trudeau, meanwhile, has defended the Brampton rally, saying his party followed public health guidelines. Supporters mobbed him at the end of the event, despite organizers asking people to stand inside squares taped on the ground.
Liberal staffers said the gathering met local COVID-19 rules limiting indoor venues to half capacity.
McCallion, who has remained active since leaving office and sits on several private sector boards in addition to the Pearson Airport board, said both Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole have visions for Canada moving forward.
“There has to be a vision that cares for people,” she said. “Justin has a vision, and so does O’Toole. I support Trudeau’s (vision).”
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