Niagara politicians share fond memories, tributes to Hurricane Hazel


Published January 30, 2023 at 9:18 am

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati called the late Hazel McCallion "a trailblazer in Canadian politics and a determined advocate for her city."

When Premier Doug Ford broke the news yesterday (Jan. 29) that former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion had died at the age of 101, it didn’t take long for the tributes to start pouring in.

Niagara officials remembered the political firebrand known as Hurricane Hazel with both fondness and deep respect.

Said St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe, “My condolences to the friends and family of Hazel McCallion, as well as all of us in southern Ontario. Mayor McCallion was a force for municipalities across the province, and her presence will be missed. RIP, Mayor McCallion.”

Down in Niagara Falls, Mayor Jim Diodati called her both inspirational and incredible.

“Saddened to learn of Hazel McCallion’s passing this morning. She was one of the most dedicated public servants and a force to be reckoned with during 36 years of service as the City of Mississauga’s longest-serving Mayor,” said Diodati. “An incredible & truly inspirational lady. RIP Hurricane Hazel.”

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, who knows a little about longevity in politics after serving as St. Catharines MPP from 1977 until 2018 before joining the municipal ranks, said, “On behalf of Regional Council, I want extend my sincere condolences to the family of former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. Mayor McCallion was a tireless public servant, municipal leader and tenacious advocate for her community. She will be missed.”

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates praised her leadership in running Mississauga for 36 consecutive years. “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Hazel McCallion, a trailblazer in Canadian politics and a determined advocate for her city. Hazel and her leadership will be greatly missed. I had the chance to meet Hazel in 2016. My condolences to her family and loved ones.”

McCallion, who burst onto the national and international stage in her second year as mayor when she helped guide Mississauga through the train derailment of 1979, was always out in the community, constantly keeping a busy schedule of visits to such gatherings because she saw them all as can’t-miss events.

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates met Hazel McCallion – where else? – in a hockey rink back in 2016. McCallion is considered by many to be one of Canada’s premier pioneers for women’s hockey.


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