Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mary Long, the founder of Hamilton Tax Help, a free low-barrier tax clinic that has helped Hamiltonians access almost $7.2 million in critical federal benefits last year alone, $1.6 million in my riding of Hamilton Mountain.
Mary is set to retire at the end of this month after an inspiring career. Whether it was through her 17 years at Family Services Hamilton, as president of her OPSEU local, as a former director of labour services at the United Way of Hamilton & Halton or as the first woman to be elected president of the Hamilton and District Labour Council, Mary has consistently sought out opportunities to respond to the needs of the community.
At age 55, she returned to school to study social service work. She is a Mohawk College Alumnus of Distinction, as well as a fellow Women of Distinction Award winner.
I wish Mary a wonderful and well-deserved retirement. I thank Mary for her commitment and service.