‘Mayor Hec’ of Trent Hills has died

An eastern Ontario mayor, who made national headlines for his public battle with pancreatic cancer and the Ontario government, has died.

The Municipality of Trent Hills says Mayor Hector Macmillan, often called “Mayor Hec”, passed away at his home in Campbellford on Tuesday.

“This is a great loss for his family and for Trent Hills,” Deputy Mayor Robert Crate said in a statement. “Hector was larger than life when advocating for the municipality and the best interests of its citizens. Being mayor of Trent Hills was his passion and his calling. On behalf of Trent Hills Council, I extend deepest condolences to Hector’s wife Sandy, their children and grandchildren.”

Macmillan was denied OHIP funding for a cancer treatment called Irreversible Electroporation, better known as “NanoKnife.” OHIP deemed the procedure “experimental.”

Macmillan took to answering his phone by saying, “This is Hector Macmillan and I’ve been sentenced to die. How may I help you?”

Macmillan eventually raised the money to undergo the NanoKnife treatment in Germany in October 2016. Early this year, the Ontario government announced it would fund a $2.1 million pilot project to study the treatment.

The minimally invasive treatment delivers an electric current to the tumour using two fine needles guided by ultrasound or CT scan, shrinking inoperable tumours without damaging surrounding tissues, which means it could be an option for patients who aren’t candidates for conventional treatment or for whom other treatments haven’t worked.

The municipality says a Book of Condolences is available at the Trent Hills Municipal Office. Funeral service arrangements will be forthcoming.

Macmillan was 59 and had served as mayor for four consecutive terms.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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