Mel Lastman, the former mayor of Toronto who died on Saturday, was remembered on Twitter by his fellow former mayors and colleagues on Tuesday as an outstanding manager of the city’s affairs who took on difficult tasks and put the city and its people first.
In a statement announcing Lastman’s death, City Council President John Campbell (known as John Tory) praised Lastman for his commitment to the city, its people and its citizens.
“Mel Lastman was a passionate community builder who made Toronto one of the most livable and desirable places to live in the world and, indeed, the greatest city in North America,” Tory said.
“He took on major challenges — from transit and congestion to housing and the environment — and rose to every occasion. Mel was a well-respected and successful business executive who stepped into government at a time when many people thought that we had reached the limits of our ability to deliver results,” Tory said.
And Toronto Mayor John Tory speaks at the funeral for #TOMayorMel Lastman – his career and legacy. #TMLive pic.twitter.com/1BwUOL97zh — Leila LaBarbera (@leilabarbera) January 2, 2018
In a statement, former Toronto mayor David Miller (whose stewardship of city affairs oversaw a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity in the city) described Lastman as an “influential leader.”
“Mel was a passionate community builder and his passion for city leadership and city services never wavered,” Miller said.
Former mayor and Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory tweeted about his admiration for Lastman, who served as mayor of Toronto from 1995 to 2003.
“Mel was an influential leader and clearly loved his community and people,” Tory said.
Toronto Mayor John Tory praises former Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman https://t.co/rsLXvdOpe9 pic.twitter.com/dmYF7njPc1 — Toronto Sun (@theTorontoSun) January 2, 2018
According to the statement, Next-Day Paper reported that Lastman became the leader of the city in 1990 when Tory assumed his new role as Premier of Ontario. Lastman was reported to have handed over the chairmanship of the Toronto Region Board of Trade to he in 1994.
In an online statement, former South African president Nelson Mandela said that Lastman was a visionary leader of the free world in the 1990s, a fact that the late last mayor himself publicly expressed pride over.
“North America and Africa desperately needed leadership like Mel,” Mandela said.
He also said that While the former mayor fought on numerous fronts to make the city a better place, the final piece of his legacy was shared by his family, his children and his grandchildren.
“With humility, Mel always made the best out of every situation, explained his children, Dave, Kim and Melanie, in a statement. “He never backed down, for his family, for the city, or for the cause. While this is incredibly sad for us, and for people around the world, we know that we have only lived in the moment, and we have lots of time to think and reflect about what made our grandfather so happy.”
Pete Campbell, who served as the CEO of the Canadian International Development Agency from 1988-2003, said that one of the key aspects of Lastman’s legacy is his work as a community leader to support the sustainable development of refugee families.
“There’s no question that an aspect of Mel’s legacy is the special way he brought together people of different backgrounds and backgrounds of helping refugees find a permanent home in Canada,” Campbell said in an interview with VOA.
The leader of the city’s Labour Council, whom the late mayor shared an excellent rapport with, noted that the loss was a tremendous loss.
“The loss is huge. Mel was a personal friend of mine,” said Paul Millar. “When he left office, I used to run into him at City Hall and he would go out of his way to say, ‘hello,’ to everybody, just to make sure I got along with all the people in office.”
Burnaby, British Columbia-based lawyer Chuck Rupinsky described Lastman’s tenure as mayor as representing “a decade of forward-thinking leadership.”
“We all benefited from his vision, experience and experience,” Rupinsky said.
Brent Rathgeber, a former Conservative Member of Parliament who was a vocal supporter of libertarian causes, called last week’s news of