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Friends, colleagues gather to remember councillor Pam McConnell

NEWS STAFF | posted Monday, Jul 10th, 2017

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Friends and colleagues of deputy mayor Pam McConnell turned out for a memorial service at the Metropolitan Community Church on Sunday.

About 700 people attended the service for the long-time city councillor for Toronto Centre-Rosedale who passed away Friday from an undisclosed lung disease at the age of 71.

Mayor John Tory was among those in attendance. He said McConnell’s work in council will have a lasting impact on the city of Toronto.

“What she did for me and for the city of Toronto in terms of getting us started on a meaningful poverty reduction program, that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of people in terms of their housing, a fair transit program, student nutrition programs,” said Tory.

“When it came to a commitment to helping those who were struggling, to getting things done, there was nobody any better. But she did it in a way that was pleasant and collegial, determined – she didn’t give up, ever …and that’s the way that politics is meant to be done. ”

Rev. Brent Hawkes said the best thing we can do to honour McConnell is to implement her poverty reduction strategy.

“Pam, I miss your face and I know you’re in great hands,” said Hawkes, who led the memorial service. “Look around you at the city you help build. And you built it with your love.”

McConnell began her political career in 1982 as a school trustee — a position she held for 12 years. She became a city councillor in 1994.

McConnell also sat on the board of several BIAs including Cabbagetown, Waterfront and St. Lawrence Market.

Her last public appearance was in June at the opening of Berczy Park, in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

An online book of condolences is available for the public to sign.

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