In the days leading up to the Pan Am decision, and only two days before the federal government intervened to veto a West Harbour stadium – a decision reversed less than 24 hours after becoming public knowledge – the Canadian Football League Commissioner met with senior Cabinet Ministers.
While the topic of the discussions is officially unknown, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to see the patterns.
In public records released online yesterday, it was revealed that CFL Commissioner Mark Cohen meet with four cabinet Minister during the lead-up to the Hamilton vote:
- Atlantic Gateway Minister Keith Ashfield;
- Finance Minister Jim Flaherty;
- Minister of State (Sport) Gary Lunn; and
- Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay.
Cohon met with Flaherty and Lunn on Tuesday, August 3 – only two days before Lunn called Pan Am 2015 CEO Ian Troop to deliver the news that the Federal government would not fund a West Harbour site.
There were two separate meetings between Lunn and Cohon on August 3.
The meetings with Ashfield and MacKay indicate the CFL is pushing to establish a team in the Atlantic market – the question is if they were discussing expansion or the relocation of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the region.
The meeting with MacKay occurred August 9 – the same day that the Tiger-Cats pulled out of negotiations for a stadium in Hamilton and announced their intention to leave Hamilton.
Hamilton City Council voted, in committee of the whole, for the West Harbour site during their August 10 meeting.
City Council meets – has Council – today to ratify their own recommendation. The meeting begins at 9:30am. I will be there, as a citizen, and will be updating live throughout the day.
The meeting with Ashfield occurred July 21.