A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Royal Commonwealth Society
Her Worship, Hazel McCallion
Mayor, City of Mississauga
Hazel's Hope--A Vision of World Citizenship
Chairman: Peter K. Large
Chairman, Royal Commonwealth of Canada, Toronto Branch
Head Table Guests
Dr. Charles Mayenga, Co-ordinator, Student Essay Contest, Royal Commonwealth Society; Joey Redican, Grade 8 Student, Deer Park Public School, Essay Contest Winner; Noreen Clement, Dominion Vice-Chair, Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada; Nabarun Chaudhuri, President, Aithent Canada Inc.; Ken Shaw, National Editor and Anchor, CTV News at Six, and Director, The Empire Club of Canada; Dr. H. Ian Macdonald, OC, President Emeritus, York University, Past Chair, Commonwealth of Learning, and Past President, The Empire Club of Canada; The Very Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Stoute, Dean of Toronto, and Rector, St. James Cathedral; Edward Badovinac, KH, Council Member, Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada, Toronto Branch, Director, The Empire Club of Canada, and Chairman, The Empire Club of Canada Yearbook; Willis L. Blair, Former Mayor of East York, and Honorary Director, The Empire Club of Canada; Rev. Dr. John S. Niles, MSM, Rector, St. Andrews United Church, Markham, and First Vice-President and President-Elect, The Empire Club of Canada; The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, QC, Chairman, Royal Commonwealth Society Foundation, Chairman, Planet Today, and Former Cabinet Minister, Government of Canada; C. Warren Goldring, Co-Founder and Honorary Chairman, AGF Management Limited, and Founding Director and Co-Chairman, Operation Dialogue; and William G. Whittaker, QC, President, The Empire Club of Canada, and Partner, Lette Whittaker Barristers & Solicitors LLP.
Introduction by Peter Large
I'm honoured to be invited today to speak at the annual combined luncheon for the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Empire Club.
I take great pride in my role as Mayor of the City of Mississauga. Today 700,000 people live in Mississauga. We are the sixth-largest city in Canada, bigger than the City of Vancouver or the City of Winnipeg. We have 52,000 businesses. We are recognized as one of the best-managed cities in Canada. We have a well-established infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities and a strong, diverse business sector. We deliver quality municipal programs and services to our citizens. We are recognized as Canada's safest city. We are fiscally responsible, and a leading Canadian municipality.
In my official capacity as mayor I have been invited to visit many fascinating nations across the world.
In my talk today I'm going to focus on visits to two commonwealth countries--India and Tanzania.
Visits to these communities were for two very different reasons.
Last year I visited Tanzania with World Vision Canada. On my travels l was touched by the despair of the hundreds of children that are affected by HIV/AIDS. Upon my return to Mississauga, Hazel's Hope was formed.
Funds raised through World Vision Canada go to the children and their families in Tanzania, for prevention education, care, and support to break down the barriers of stigma and discrimination.
I invited the citizens of Mississauga to join together and help the children and they have to the tune of $570,000.
In fact, I celebrated my 85th birthday recently and, as a gift to me, residents and staff were invited to send me a birthday wish by donating a loonie or toonie to Hazel's Hope. That campaign raised $8,000.
I'm so pleased that Mississauga residents have rallied to this cause but then I expect nothing less from the people of our great city.
This spring I led a 10-day trade mission for the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) to India to attract foreign investment and capitalize on India's growing economic prospects. The delegation attended the National Association of Software and Service Companies in Mumbai and met one-on-one with numerous information, communications and technology-sector companies. It was a strategic opportunity to showcase all that the GTA and Mississauga have to offer. We highlighted how Mississauga is strategically positioned for Indian-based companies looking to set-up shop in Canada:
Our close proximity to U.S. markets;
A highly skilled labour pool at competitive rates;
A stable, business-friendly environment.
I also joined the Minister for Economic Development and Trade, Joe Cordiano, and our provincial and federal representative in New Delhi to open the Ontario Investment Office at the Canadian High Commission. The centre will promote Ontario's economic interests in India and seek trade and investment opportunities in the Indian market.
Through our work with the GTMA, we want to capitalize on India's growth and continue to be recognized as the best place in the world to live, work and play.
My world travels also give me the opportunity to boast about all that Mississauga has to offer business and residents. I also develop friendships with other world leaders and we share our successes and knowledge.
Other Matters Of Interest
Our Healthy City Initiative--Healthy Mississauga 2010 Plan--has improved personal health for residents.
I have received the Order of Canada.
I am running for mayor in the upcoming 2006 municipal elections.
I have had 28 years as Mayor of Mississauga.
This is my 10th term of office as mayor.
Mississauga is a premier city for business in Canada. Its financial health and prosperity look promising and we want to maintain our commitment as a municipal services leader.
I will continue to speak out on behalf of our partner commonwealth nations like India and Tanzania to come to their aid and support. Mississauga is leading today for tomorrow.
The appreciation of the meeting was expressed by William G. Whittaker, QC, President, The Empire Club of Canada, and Partner, Lette Whittaker Barristers & Solicitors LLP.
Members and guests of the Royal Commonwealth Society Toronto Branch and the Empire Club of Canada, I have the honour to express your formal thanks to Mayor McCallion.
The person who wanted to thank Mayor McCallion today was our Honorary Solicitor, William Grenville Davis, sometime Premier of Ontario. I can assure you he moved heaven and earth to change a long-standing directors' meeting commitment in the United States which alas he could not do. Mayor McCallion told me that Premier Davies even called her to express his apologies. So today we missed out on one of the touchstones of recent Ontario politics--the verbal jousting between Brampton Bill and Mayor Hazel of Streetsville.
No doubt Premier Davis's thank you would have been as long as the Mayor's speech today. Perhaps we can remedy our omission by inviting Premier Davis to speak at our Canada Day luncheon next year with Mayor McCallion to thank him so she could have the last word!
My reference to Mayor Hazel of Streetsville was not in error for this is where her political career began and where the McCallion family roots are. The Mayor's late husband, Sam McCallion, was the Charter President of Streetsville's Bread and Honey Festival which is held annually the first weekend in June and celebrated its 33rd anniversary this year. You can usually find Mayor McCallion at Mississauga City Hall each business day, but I can tell you with certainty where she is the first weekend in June each year.
Mayor McCallion reminds me of Harry Truman, the American President who brought small town values to the White House and was a person of strong convictions who didn't suffer fools gladly. Author Merle Miller who wrote the definitive oral biography of Harry Truman named it ...Plain Speaking," a sobriquet that can be applied to our speaker today.
Mayor McCallion, part of the advertised title of your speech to us today was ...Hazel's Hope..." and you so eloquently described your hopes for Mississauga, the GTA, Canada and that part of the third world suffering from the scourge of HIV/AIDS.
I thank you for your remarks today. We all wish you good health and many more years as the Mayor of Mississuaga and of course, Streetsville.