Saturday, April 20, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday, April 20, 2013

The nature of ‘conflicting reports’

It started at a transportation conference in Toronto where Spectator reporter Meredith MacLeod bumped into Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina and his chief of staff, Peggy Chapman.

They told her the province was asking Hamilton to make a choice between all-day GO service to Stoney Creek and an east-west LRT line.

“Really,” said MacLeod, surprised, “when did this happen?”

They replied Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne had made it clear at a private function in Hamilton over the weekend.

After MacLeod reported this on, the premier’s office denied it, and city councillors flipped – again – over Bratina’s confusing statements and mixed messages about LRT.

The mayor never asked The Spectator for a retraction, never called me to say we’d got it wrong and never responded to requests for clarification of the web story before the print edition went to press.

Instead, he went on CHML radio the following day to deny he ever said it: “It’s not true. It’s a complete Giller Prize for fiction.”

In short, he said, The Spectator had fabricated the story.

This is a very, very, very serious charge, and one we would take more seriously if it weren’t standard fare from this mayor. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)