Hamilton Mayor A Conflict Of Interest?

Published: December 20, 2012 02:58 pm EST

According to an article, Hamilton Councillor Sam Merulla's recent comments comparing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s gaming modernization plan to the business plan of a "crack dealer" have now spawned a much bigger situation.

As an article by the CBC explains, after Merulla's comments were made and became public, Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina was looking to make a statement regarding the inflammatory remarks.

Councillor Merulla has claimed that Bratina was looking to publicly condemn the 'crack dealer' remarks after being persuaded to do so after being pressured on the issue via an email by PJ Mercanti, the president of Carmens group. The report states that Mercanti's Carmens group could be in a position to reap the benefits, either directly or indirectly, of a full-blown casino being introduced to downtown Hamilton.

Merulla has claimed that Bratina, for the most part, lifted a segment of Mercanti's email to be used as either the Council or just the Mayor's official stance on the issue. The article also explains that the Mayor does not have the ultimate power to solely speak on behalf of Council. The report also pointed out that Bratina is currently the chair of the gaming facility proposal subcommittee looking into the contentious issue of whether or not a full-blown casino should be introduced to Hamilton's downtown core.

“The mayor was planning on lobbying verbatim on behalf of the attached email,” Merulla was quoted as saying. “It's disturbing and unnerving at best.”

Those against the introduction of a casino in Hamilton's downtown core are saying that the situation glaringly shows the Mayor's conflict of interest in the matter, and that he should at least step down from the subcommittee.

“I can say with a good deal of certainty that a lot of what the mayor says is not council's position,” Merulla was also quoted as saying.

(With files from CBC)



Unfortunately this isnt the first time the mayor of the city of Hamilton has found himself in this position.#PanAmStadium.