Former Brampton councilor and Ontario Liberal MPP Bob Callahan dead at 83

The City of Brampton is mourning one of its most accomplished politicians after former MPP and city councillor Bob Callahan died at the age of 83 over the holidays.

Callahan died on Boxing Day at the age of 83. The family hasn’t revealed a cause of death but former Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, who served on council with Callahan for many years, confirmed his passing.

According to an announcement on the city’s website on Dec. 27, flags at City Hall were lowered to half-mast in his memory.

According to his Wikipedia page, Callahan was born in South Bronx, NY in 1937 before making his way to Toronto in the 1960s, where he earned a law degree from York University and opened a private practice.

It didn’t take long for Callahan to make the jump to politics first serving as an Alderman — now referred to as city councillors — on Brampton council from 1969 to 1985.

After two failed runs at the provincial legislature in 1977 and 1981 as a candidate for the Liberal Party, losing to fellow Bramptonian and then Progressive Conservative (PC) Premier Bill Davis both times, he succeeded on his third attempt in 1985 after Davis retired.

He would serve three terms as a Brampton MPP before being unseated by then PC candidate Tony Clement in 1995.

After a short break from politics, Callahan decided on a return to municipal governance. He was re-elected to Brampton council in 1997 as a representative for Ward 3 and won re-election for several more terms before retiring from politics in 2014 at the age 77.

In 2011, former Premier Dalton McGuinty awarded Callahan with a 25-year Long-standing Service Award from the Province of Ontario.

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