“Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of the City of Mississauga, Members of Council and our team of professionals, welcome to City Hall.
“Welcome to Mississauga, Premier Wynne. Let me wish all of you a very happy Hazel McCallion Day!
“Now, because it’s February 14, let me also wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!
“Mississauga, and its people, have always been first and foremost in Mayor McCallion’s heart.
“Congratulations to Mississauga—Brampton South MPP Amrit Mangat, on the successful passage of the Hazel McCallion Day Act.
“Bill 16 was sponsored and supported by each party in the Ontario Legislature.
“If there’s one person who can bring people together; break political gridlock and make government work; it’s Hazel McCallion.
“They call you Hurricane Hazel for a reason.
“You’re a force of nature; a larger than life individual; a public servant who always put the public first; a revered city-builder.
“You presided over an incredible transformation of Mississauga, with a record that is second to none.
“On your watch, Mississauga grew from farm fields and fruit trees, into a vibrant, prosperous and thriving place so many Canadians continue to choose for a better, more promising life.
“Throughout your 36 years as our Mayor, it’s hard to imagine all the lives you have touched; all the people you have inspired; and all the families you welcomed here to our community, and to their new home, Mississauga.
“The inaugural Hazel McCallion Day takes place as we celebrate 150 years of Canada and our nation’s founding.
“City-building is nation-building. If Sir John A. Macdonald laid the cornerstone for Confederation, Hazel McCallion built on the foundation.
“In a few minutes, Director of Culture, Paul Damaso, will discuss the “Do Your Homework” exhibit – highlighting Hazel McCallion’s life’s work.
“Since we are short on time and long on achievements, let me single out a few of Hazel McCallion’s notable achievements.
“During the November 1979 train derailment, Hazel was a constant presence of strength, courage and leadership.
“You reassured a worried public that all would be safe and well. And all was safe and well.
“In 1981, you opened Mississauga to the world by signing a sister-city agreement with the community of Kariya, Japan.
“For over three decades, there has been a wealth of knowledge, culture and opportunity exchanged between our two cities. And just like family, the relationship is one of affection. It is genuine, strong and endures. It’s only fitting that we gather today here in Mississauga’s emerging downtown core.
“The downtown encompasses Hazel McCallion’s vision of what Mississauga would one day be a thriving urban centre; a place connected to a vast public transit network; where people are walking distance from school, work, home and a memorable night out.
“You oversaw the construction of this very building: the Civic Centre.
“As part of today’s festivities, the clock tower will be lit up in the colour red tonight.
“You cut the ribbon and opened Central Library; the crown jewel of our public library system.
Working with Council and staff, you envisioned a new public space in the heart of our city and created Celebration Square.
“Sheridan College named its Mississauga campus after you.
“It was Hazel McCallion who secured funding to build the Living Arts Centre so local artists could shine. And it was Hazel who led the charge against certain Queen’s Park politicians that wanted to scrap the Hurontario LRT.
“And today, we’re getting on with the job of building the largest infrastructure investment in Mississauga history, fully funded by the provincial government
“Although, you may no longer be our mayor, your work stands strong and proud and it stands as a testament to your commitment to the city and people you always put first.
“Congratulations, once again to our dear friend Hazel McCallion. You have earned today.”