October 10, 2017 11:06 am
Updated: October 11, 2017 10:43 am

Longtime Trent Hills mayor Hector Macmillan loses battle with cancer

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Longtime Trent Hills mayor Hector Macmillan has died.

A statement Tuesday from Northumberland County Warden Mark Wallas expressed condolences to Macmillan’s wife, family, friends and the community. Macmillan was 59.

“It was with deep sadness and regret that Northumberland County Council and staff received news today of the death of Hector Macmillan, county councillor and Mayor of the Municipality of Trent Hills,” said Walas.

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“Councillor Macmillan was an absolute force to be reckoned with. Throughout his 14 years as an elected official, he expressed an unwavering dedication and commitment to the betterment of his community.”

“I can personally say that over all the years we served together on Northumberland County Council, I developed significant respect for Councillor Macmillan’s vigilant pursuit of public service. Even more than that, I valued his friendship. He was larger than life, he had enormous impact, and I know I speak for all of Council and staff when I say that he will be sincerely missed.”

Walas noted Macmillan – who also served two terms as a County warden – was dedicated to a number of projects included local road and bridge infrastructure, advancements in paramedic first response, development of a long-term waste management master plan, including expansion of Northumberland’s recycling program, and milestones such as the development of a successful bid to host the first-ever inter-municipal set of Parasport Games.

“In everything that Councillor Macmillan did, his constituents were his foremost consideration, and the long-term progress and prosperity of the Municipality of Trent Hills his utmost desire,” said Walas.

“Even as his illness progressed, he remained steadfast in fulfilling the responsibilities of office, right up until his final days.”

Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi says he’s saddened to learn of the passing of his friend. Rinaldi say he and Macmillan worked closely for years to win many local issues. Rinaldi says there’s now an immense void in the community.

“Hector was always a fighter, a champion and a fierce advocate for those he represented,” said Rinaldi. “He will be greatly missed by the citizens of Trent Hills and Northumberland County.”

Macmillan most recently made headlines when his battle with pancreatic cancer required a surgical treatment referred to as “nanoknife” that was then unavailable in Ontario. He fought tirelessly to have that changed and often clashed with provincial health minister Eric Hoskins. Macmillan eventually underwent the treatment in Germany.

READ MORE: Ontario mayor taking provincial government to task over cancer surgery

Earlier this year, the Ontario government launched a pilot of the irreversible electroporation (IRE) treatment – a procedure that attempts to destroy cancer cells with electricity.

Macmillan was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in the spring of 2016 and told he had “a maximum of 11 months to live.”

Visitation will be held on Friday, Oct. 13 from 4-8 p.m. at Weaver’s Funeral Home on 77 Second St. in Campbellford. A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at 17 Ranney St. Following the ceremony there will be a reception in the church hall.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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