By; Surjit Singh Flora
We celebrated the contributions of former Mayor Susan Fennell at our #InternationalWomensDay celebration this evening at City Hall. Thank you, Susan, for being one of the many extraordinary women leaders in the @CityBrampton who have contributed to the success of our City.-Mayor Patrick Brown
City of Brampton’s mayor, Patrick Brown, and the council honored Susan Fennell on International Women’s Day as the city’s success.
As a good friend of Fennell, I find out that Fennell has a positive attitude. There’s no way to imitate the energy that fills a room when a happy, high-stepping woman such as Susan Fennell walks in. A positive attitude is the fuel we need to move from having an idea to making it happen. That is what Fennell was. A happy attitude demands intentional effort on her part. Stop thinking bad thoughts and think good ones instead. Fennell Use words that focus on positive things about building the city—those she knows to be true. That’s what Susan was, who was not only true to herself but true to the Bramptonians.
She puts herself around people who will encourage her, and she encourages them to inspire and believe in her. This was helping her to stay positive. With her good attitude, she was able to accomplish so much for the city and its citizens.
She can overcome obstacles, Women such as Susan Fennell, who battled throughout her life, often have incredible inner strength. Take advantage of misfortune. Because of that, she was a better, more valued person at the conclusion of a battle.
She is strong-minded; being strong-minded does not imply being impolite, arrogant, or destructive. On the contrary, a lady with a strong will who exudes confidence, such as Susan Fennell, is strong-minded, has a positive self-image, and accepts responsibility for her life and the lives of the citizens of Brampton. While, by its very nature, the entrepreneurial spirit demands that we investigate alternatives that the majority of people are unwilling to contemplate,
She is soft-hearted; she has integrity, and she has balance in her life.
She sets goals, For every business and city to succeed, she first find a gap in the market. Identify gaps in the market, then run to fill those spaces. While being mayor of Brampton, she found those gaps and filled them with her positive thoughts. She is driven by a cause.
Fennell was one of those mayors. Dare to struggle today so you can win tomorrow. We all can see the development of the city, and now, how much the city has achieved, the truth is that it’s very little. Whatever has been achieved so far is because we have some great provincial MPPs, such as Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, in our Flower City, who find the needs in the city’s business ventures and pursue those causes with passion, and who will encourage wishers to develop these traits and make a difference for our beautiful city’s future.
Another bitter truth is that, if Susan Fennell was still mayor of our flower city of Brampton, it would be ranked as the number one city in Canada.
Former city of Brampton mayor Susan Fennell’s first foray into politics was with her 1988 election to Brampton City Council for Ward 3.That same year she was first elected to the Board of Governors of Sheridan College, where she served as one of the directors until 1995.During her time as a city councillor, Fennell was actively involved in several committees, including those for Economic Development and Official Plan Review. This period also saw Fennell active on the Airport Tri-Municipal Committee, the Brampton Board of Trade, and the Downtown Business Improvement Area.
In 1991, Fennell was elected to Peel Regional Council to represent Wards 3 and 4.Her first term as a regional councillor saw her chair the Brampton Budget Committee and saw the first zero-tax increase in Peel Region’s history in 1993.During her stint at the regional council, Fennell also chaired the Public Works Committee and the Economic Development Committee. She was also involved in the governing council of the Board of Trade and the Highway 427 Extension Committee.
Fennell was instrumental in the creation of the National Women’s Hockey League, the premier women’s hockey league in North America. She served as its founding commissioner from its inception in 1999 until her retirement in July 2006.
In 2000, Fennell defeated three-term incumbent Peter Robertson for the Brampton mayoralty. She was re-elected in 2003, defeating councillor Bill Cowie by a 28% margin. Fennell was re-elected to a third term in 2006 with 79.85% of the vote, defeating the nearest competitor by a 61% margin. In 2010, Fennell was elected to her fourth term with 50.68% of the vote.
She acted to protect Brampton’s position on Peel Regional Council, including negotiating with the designated provincial facilitator, Justice George Adams. However, the Ontario Legislature voted against the recommendation and instead increased the seats on Peel Regional Council in Mississauga’s favour instead of allotting more in Brampton’s favour to provide for future population growth in Brampton as was recommended by the provincial facilitator.
While mayor, Fennell twice served as chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, as well as being a part of the Federal Big City Mayor’s Caucus (BCMC). In 2007 she was elected chair of the FCM Federal Ontario Municipal Caucus and continues to serve in this role after her re-election at the 2012 FCM AGM in Saskatoon. She was also a member of the Peel Regional Police Services Board, the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. and the GO-Transit Board.
During Fennell’s tenure as mayor, Brampton became debt free and also was assigned a Triple AAA Credit Rating. In 2007, Brampton was designated an Internationally Safe Community, by the World Health Organization, one of only 10 cities designated in North America. In 2007, Brampton was named a finalist in the World Leadership Forum, for best led city in the category of town planning.
In 2008, Fennell called for an environment master plan, and created the Environment Committee of Council, with citizens, academia and business involved.
City projects during her time as mayor included the Rose Theatre, Flower City Seniors Centre, Chinguacousy Park Skateboard Park, Cassie Campbell Community Centre, Brampton Soccer Centre, Full renovation of Earnscliffe Recreation Centre and Century Gardens and Züm rapid transit.
Fennell is an Honorary Member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15, an Honorary Member of the Brampton Kiwanis and Zonta clubs, and has been honoured with Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship. In 2005 she was named an honorary member of the William Osler Health Centre Board of Directors. She is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal. and has been presented the Boy Scouts “Lord Baden Powell” Medal.
In 2006 she was inducted into the City of Brampton Sports Hall of Fame in the “Builder” category for her role in the creation and growth of the NWHL. In December 2008, Mayor Fennell was presented an honorary fifth degree black belt in Tai Kwon Do, presented by Grand Master Ken Cheung.