Hazel McCallion’s son, who pitched Mississauga NHL team, puts mayoral bid on ice

Click to play video: 'Bonnie Crombie departs as Mississauga’s mayor'
Bonnie Crombie departs as Mississauga’s mayor
WATCH: Bonnie Crombie departs as Mississauga's mayor – Jan 12, 2024

Peter McCallion, the son of former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion and who hoped to bring an NHL team to the city, has dropped out of its mayoral race.

McCallion made headlines Monday for promising to bring an NHL team to Mississauga, one of Canada’s largest cities, if elected mayor on the June 10 byelection.

Mississauga, which neighbours Toronto, is “no longer the little brother or sister” to that city, McCallion said on Monday, adding the “time has come” for the Toronto Maple Leafs to have a local rival.

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2024 NHL Playoff Preview: Will a Canadian team finally end the 31-year Stanley Cup drought?

However, in a statement shared by rival Carolyn Parrish on Thursday, he said that “in light of recent polls,” he was putting his bid to replace Bonnie Crombie as Mississauga mayor on ice.

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“I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for mayor and seek other ways to perform civic duties in my mother’s honour,” he said. Hazel, the city’s longtime mayor, died last year at the age of 101.

McCallion added he was throwing his support behind Parrish, who resigned as Ward 5 councillor to run for mayor.

“Carolyn’s strong convictions for the residents of Mississauga and no-nonsense approach to politics is reinforced by her willingness to save tax payers the costs of yet another byelection by stepping down from ward councillor to run for mayor,” he said. McCallion’s campaign did not respond to Global News Toronto’s inquries, but his statement was reported by other media.

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In a statement on X Thursday, Parrish, a former member of Parliament, thanked McCallion for his endorsement.

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“Peter McCallion has spent a very large part of his life supporting his mother, a truly great woman I can completely understand his desire to follow in her footsteps,” she said.

“I admire his ability to see doing so is very difficult at this time. I thank him for his kind words and support.”

On Monday, McCallion said he would gather members of the business community to draft an NHL bid if he became mayor. He said he also wanted the city to have a Professional Women’s Hockey League team.

In terms of an arena, McCallion said it should be integrated into a mixed-use area of residential, retail and commercial space. He insisted the cost of an arena would be paid for by the private sector, and said he would use “strong mayor” powers from the province to get it built faster.

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In terms of a possible NHL team name, McCallion seemed to suggest “Mississauga Hurricanes” — a tribute to his mother, who was often referred to as “Hurricane Hazel.”

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However, the NHL already has a team with the “Hurricanes” name in North Carolina.

Candidate nomination for mayor is scheduled to close at 2 p.m. on Friday.

The byelection was triggered after Crombie resigned from the position following her election as the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.

Advance polls will be held at Mississauga city hall on May 24 and 25. On June 1 and 2, advance polls will open at locations across the city.

Election day for both the mayor’s seat and the vacant councillor position in ward 5 is June 10.

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— with files from Ryan Rocca

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