Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion endorses Kathleen Wynne
McCallion praises Liberal leader's record of working with municipalities
Ontario Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne won a key endorsement Wednesday, earning praise from Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion for her record of working with municipalities.
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McCallion, 93, a powerful local politician who has been in office for more than 35 years, told reporters the Liberals can be trusted to maintain a "respectful" relationship with municipalities.
"I supported her as leader of the Liberal party and I still support her as leader of the province," McCallion said Wednesday at a media briefing with Wynne.
Minority government 'last thing' Ontario needs, McCallion says
McCallion, a conservative mayor who will not seek re-election in October, said she wants to see a stable government at Queen's Park.
"The last thing the province needs is a minority government," she said. "A minority government leaves municipalities hanging out there, not knowing what legislation will get through the House."
McCallion also took shots at the Progressive Conservatives and was critical of leader Tim Hudak's plan to eliminate 100,000 public sector jobs.
"Yes we can look at the staffing and decide reductions, but you better look at the services as well," said McCallion. "The people of Ontario have become accustomed to a quality of life that I think is sacred to them."
McCallion said addressing road congestion remains a top priority for Mississauga, a large municipality west of Toronto that is home to more than 700,000 people.
"Companies are not going to locate here if they can't get their people to work or their products and services delivered."
McCallion also addressed the scandal surrounding former premier Dalton McGuinty's decision to cancel construction of two gas-fired power plants: one in Mississauga, the other in nearby Oakville. Added together, the cancellations are estimated to have cost $1 billion, according to an auditor's report, and were widely seen as a move to save Liberal seats during the 2011 provincial election.
McCallion called the gas plants fiasco a "terrible mistake" but one that has taken up too much focus in recent months.
"Water under the bridge," she said. "Let's get on with putting the province of Ontario back on track."
With files from The Canadian Press