January 19, 2017
Dear Ms. George:
I am writing in response to an article, recently brought to my attention, published online on October 13, 2016, entitled: These are the most (and least) woman-friendly cities in Canada. I was surprised to learn that neither Chatelaine nor the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who produced the referenced report The Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada 2016, mentioned Mississauga – Canada’s sixth largest city.
British Columbia’s capital is not the only major Canadian city with a woman in the mayor’s chair. I am honoured to serve the people of Mississauga as their mayor. So is my neighbour, Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, head of council for a city of well over a half a million people.
Let me share more about the remarkable women who make Mississauga work. I serve alongside five dedicated female councillors. Our team of municipal professionals is led by our City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer, Janice Baker, who is supported by a number of women in high-ranking positions including our City Solicitor and nearly 20 female directors – responsible for issues ranging from Economic Development, Legislative Services and Internal Audit. A few months back we announced that Natalie Lue was hired as Chief Executive Officer of our world-class Living Arts Centre. And we can’t forget the legendary Hurricane Hazel McCallion who presided over Mississauga for an astonishing 36 consecutive years.
Over half of all councillors who serve on Peel Regional Council, Mississauga’s upper-tier municipality, are women. So are Peel’s Commissioners of Corporate Services, Human Services, Health Services, our Clerk and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to name a few.
Two of our Members of Provincial Parliament (MPP), are female, and serve in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government. Mississauga East-Cooksville MPP Dipika Damerla is Ontario’s Minister for Seniors Affairs. During the 2015 election, Iqra Khalid was elected Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erin Mills.
Beyond the corridors of government, women are leading the way in other important leadership roles. Michelle E. DiEmanuele is President and CEO of Trillium Health Partners – which operates three hospital sites in Mississauga and Toronto. Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans is entrusted with the third largest municipal force in Canada. For the last 13 years, Shelley White has led the United Way of Peel Region.
I could go on and on because the list goes on and on. I invite you to Mississauga to see for yourself one of the best places in Canada to be a woman. Mississauga has an important story to share. I know your readers will want to hear it.
Bonnie Crombie, MBA, ICD.D
Mayor, City of Mississauga