There is a significant gulf between what two parties at the same meeting have taken away from that encounter. Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly says she met with Lou Frapporti and P.J. Mercanti of the 2026 Hamilton Games committee last week. She says she invited the Chief of Staff of Heritage Minister Lisa McLeod, whose ministry would provide any provincial funding for the games, to the meeting. Skelly says that she later asked McLeod if there was money for a Hamilton 2026 bid and was told that there was not because the province had already committed to the FIFA World Cup soccer event that is also taking place in the summer of 2026. She says the Minister did indicate a willingness to support the games if they could be moved ahead a year to 2027. The province had already written a letter of support for the 2030 games that were the original intent of local organizers, but the Commonwealth Games Federation, finding itself without a bidder for 2026, essentially offered to sole-source the 2026 games to Hamilton. The Olympics have moved their games by one year because of the COVID pandemic. Finally, Skelly says she relayed the bad news to the Hamilton Games committee. But Lou Frapporti, the Hamilton Games chair told the Spectator in an email, “we are surprised to hear this, quite frankly, as Ms. Skelly had not previously communicated this to our organizing committee despite participating in meetings with us and senior representatives of the minister’s office just over a week ago at which she offered to assist in securing a letter of support for Hamilton 2026,” The team hasn’t “been so advised” by MacLeod’s office, either. “Indeed, we had been given to understand from sources at Queen’s Park, that quite the opposite was the case.”
In an interview with Scott Thompson on CHML today Skelly described the meeting with the Hamilton bid team.