Thousands of GTA residents attended New Year’s Day levees Thursday in cities across the region. And while dozens lined up at Toronto city hall yesterday morning, it was a landmark occasion in Mississauga as Mayor Hazel McCallion celebrated her 30th levee.

About 1,000 people came out to the civic centre to offer the mayor and council new year’s greetings and watch dance performances by a variety of Mississauga’s cultural communities. Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan also hosted a levee Thursday.

Some people simply wanted to shake hands with the mayors and councillors. Others wanted their photographs taken, while some residents told their elected representatives what they hoped from the city in 2009.

Laurie Brooks, who has attended the Toronto levee for four consecutive years, brought her five-year-old son Isaiah. While he gave Miller a Christmas card and posed for photos, Brooks told him the city needs to invest more money in programs for single mothers.

“There are programs for (single) moms till they reach the age of 25. What do they do if they need assistance after that, too?” asked Brooks. “I think he (Miller) needs to know what people want — after all, these are the people who voted for him.”

Most of the people attending the levee said it was a tradition — to come and meet the mayor every year. Others were starting the tradition.

Jeannie and Kevin Lee brought their children Irene and Jonathan for the first time.
“Irene has just started learning about Canadian politics at school and I thought it would be a good idea for her to meet everyone here,” said Jeannie Lee.

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