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Mayor Tory says Coun. Pam McConnell is ‘gravely ill’

NEWS STAFF | posted Friday, Jul 7th, 2017

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City councillor and deputy mayor Pam McConnell is in hospital and is described as being “gravely ill.”

Mayor John Tory announced her condition at city hall on Thursday.

He said he has grown to respect McConnell immensely and that she is getting the best care available.

“She’ll be fighting this as hard as she possibly can and so I hope that the people of Toronto will join me in sending their thoughts and prayers to her and to her family,” Tory said.

“(Her family) have indicated that they think it would be very uplifting for her to receive any messages that people may wish to send.”

Those messages should be sent to McConnell’s city hall email councillor_mcconnell@toronto.ca.

Coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, whose ward is next to McConnell’s, said the news was distressing but that she has hope.

“I know that she is tough as nails. She is definitely a fighter and she’s getting the very best medical care the country can provide and that gives me a lot of hope and I know that she’s doing well,” she said.

“Because our wards are side-by-side we end up working together on a lot of issues. She is, by far, one of the hardest working, committed individuals I know. She holds a very big stick but speaks very softly but she’s also a collaborator … I know that she’s very keen to come back to work and I know that’s what she’s trying to do.”

Coun. Norm Kelly said he and McConnell are currently two of the longest serving councillors and that even though they don’t always agree on issues, she’s always been an important part of council.

“We haven’t always been on the same side but she fights fiercely and fairly and she’s willing to compromise and make deals. She’s an important link between the left and the centre,” he said.

“My wife and I always enjoyed socializing with her and her husband, they were a great team, and I really regret that she has fell ill suddenly.”

McConnell’s last public appearance was at the opening of Berczy Park, in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

Her illness has not been disclosed.

McConnell has served on council since 1994 and represents Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale.

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