Hazel McCallion says she won’t become adviser to Doug Ford government

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WATCH ABOVE: Premier Doug Ford defended his government’s policies on a number of different fronts during a news conference on Wednesday. Travis Dhanraj Reports – Jan 30, 2019

Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion says she will not be accepting the role of an adviser to Premier Doug Ford and the Ontario government after all.

The role would have had McCallion consult for the premier on a range of municipal issues.

Earlier Wednesday, Ford said McCallion would be acting as adviser but without pay. However, McCallion issued a statement through the premier’s office later in the day that she would be unable to occupy the post.

READ MORE: Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion appointed adviser to Premier Ford

“I would like to thank Minister Steve Clark and Premier Doug Ford for the appointment to work with them and to share the experience I have gained from 44 years in local government,” the statement said.

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“Unfortunately, due to my extensive commitments, I am unable to accommodate the extensive time required for such an appointment at this point in time. As a result, I will not be accepting the formal appointment and the per diem that goes along with it.”

The government announced earlier this month that McCallion had been appointed to serve as a special adviser to Ford and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark.

READ MORE: Hazel McCallion appears to endorse both Liberal Charles Sousa, PC leader Doug Ford

But the appointment was thrown into question when McCallion told the Globe and Mail days later that she hadn’t formally accepted and wasn’t sure if it would conflict with her various other jobs.

The appointment came with a salary of up to $150,000.

McCallion, known as “Hurricane Hazel,” is two weeks shy of turning 98 years old.

She served as mayor of the city west of Toronto from 1978 to 2014 and endorsed Ford for premier in the 2018 election that vaulted his Progressive Conservatives to power.

With files from The Canadian Press