I’m a big fan of Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion but, like a lot of people who live in the Toronto suburb, I think it’s time for a change.
McCallion has done a terrific job and I don’t understand most of the recent criticism. And that inquiry? The councillors voted to spend millions of dollars to look into something that didn’t happen.
And people want to get rid of her?
But the reason I think it’s time for a change is because, regardless of who you are - whether you’re a school principal or a car dealer or a hockey coach - at some point in time you will be in a rut because you’ve been doing the same things over and over again for years and years and it’s time for somebody else to take over the school, or the dealership, or the hockey team.
And there’s a guy who threw his hat into the ring last week who deserves a look.
Dave Cook is no political rookie. Between 1980 and 1988, he sat for three terms on Mississauga Council and Peel Regional Council. Of the 13 others running against Hazel, Cook is the only one with political experience in the community.
I like him, of course, because of his contributions to auto racing.
On June 3, 1961, the Oakville-Trafalgar Light Car Club held the first club race at Mosport (which was a couple of weeks before the first Player’s 200, which was the first major race at that storied circuit) and the guy who organized it was – ta-da! – Dave Cook.
He announced the first Formula One Grand Prix of Canada at Mosport in 1967 and did the English commentary when the Grand Prix moved to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant in 1968. He also did auto racing announcing on the CBC back in the day.
When he retired from politics in ‘88, he was hired to be the first general manager of the Mosport Speedway oval, next door to the big circuit. He later got involved with the travelling Can-Am Midget Club as vice-president and track announcer and he got so wrapped up in the sport that he bought his own TQ and had Andy Mackereth do the driving.
Other drivers of that TQ included Rich Watkins of Grand Island, N.Y., and Glenn Butt of Toronto. Glenn, as many people know, has been the announcer at Mosport for years and, with his father, Ed, and other partners, promotes the annual Canadian Motorsports Expo at the International Centre.
After his TQ experience, the Southern Ontario Sprints Series was born and Cook was asked to take over as vice-president. Three years later, he left racing to write books on Mississauga history. He’s published four; I like the one on the Dixie Beehives junior hockey team.
Dave says he’s 68, which makes him old enough to run for mayor of Mississauga.
He’s got my vote.