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Who is “Hurricane” Hazel, this centenarian confirmed for 3 years at the head of the largest Canadian airport?


Nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel”, “the hurricane” in French, Hazel McCallion, 101, has been renewed until 2025 at the head of Canada’s largest airport. Back on an extraordinary journey.

Work is health. At least for Hazel McCallion. Far from sweetening the strawberries from the top of her 101 springs, she has just returned for three more years at the head of Toronto airport, the largest in the country. The information was spotted by our colleagues from RTL in the columns of the Guardian.

“A pragmatic populist”

Nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel”, this woman like no other has had several lives. A professional hockey player in her youth, she is famous in Canada for having led the city of Mississauga, one of the main economic centers of the country, for more than 40 years.

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“She was a pragmatic populist with an incredible ability to take the pulse of the public,” Tom Urbaniak, a political science professor at Cape Breton University and author of a book on McCallion, told The Guardian. “It’s a talent she never lost.”

Still an advisor to the Premier of Ontario

Until 2014, at the age of 93, Hazel McCallion resigned and retired from political life. But no question for her of sinking a quiet retirement. In 2017, the inexhaustible nonagenarian who already advises the Premier of Ontario, is appointed to the management of Toronto airport.

Now 101 years old, she was confirmed in her post for the next three years in early April. Omar Alghabra, Canada’s Transport Minister, congratulated him, hailing his four decades of community service and his role as “oversight and guide of Canada’s largest airport”.

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This is not the only function still occupied by “Hurricane Hazel”. As the Guardian points out, the centenarian, who has a school, library, parade, light rail project and baseball team named after him, was reappointed as Special Advisor to the University of Toronto. The school had for the occasion praised “his encyclopedic knowledge of politics”.

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