Chamber of Commerce cancels planned speech by Caroline Mulroney after she cancels LRT
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce scrapped plans to have Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney speak at an event shortly after the province announced it was snuffing the city's plans to have light rail transit (LRT).
Keanin Loomis, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce president, tells CBC they revoked her invitation to speak at an event on Jan. 21 at the McMaster Innovation Park "just before the holidays."
Loomis says mere days before the controversial announcement, he talked to Mulroney at about what she'd say at the event.
He says he met with Mulroney and her chief of staff at a reception in Queen's Park — and he says "there was no indication at all" they would kill LRT.
"We were talking about all the various issues, especially transportation-related issues that she needed to be briefed on to help form her keynote and to be willing to do a Q and A," Loomis says.
"All indications were they were really excited to come to Hamilton. Obviously, more was happening behind the scenes that they didn't let on about."
While the chamber's feelings of betrayal from the LRT cancellation contributed to shutting down its own event, some major sponsors also backed out.
Though, Loomis says Mulroney's office wasn't upset.
"It didn't seem like it was right to move forward. It's not like we got any pushback from MTO. They understood," he says.
"It was going to be a lunch. She has addressed a few chambers of commerce since becoming minister of transportation."
Caitlin Clark, a communications advisor from Mulroney's office, tells CBC the office "cannot comment on the chamber's internal scheduling decisions."