By Craig Campbell, News Staff
Prime Minister Stephen Harper planned to attend the Allan Cup national amateur hockey championship tournament in Dundas last week, but cancelled his trip after the sudden death of cabinet minister Jim Flaherty.
“Prime Minister Harper was looking forward to visiting the community to support Canadian hockey at the Allan Cup,” said Stephen Lecce, deputy director of communications for the Prime Minister’s Office.
The RCMP unit that handles security for Harper said they could not provide any details of the prime minister’s planned trip to Dundas.
Corporal Lucy Shorey said she could not confirm whether RCMP representatives had visited Grightmire Arena, or reviewed logistics of getting Harper to the arena.
“We can’t share security details and what we do,” Shorey said. “We’re not going to comment on any security measures given to the prime minister.”
Harper is a well-known hockey fan and author of the book A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey.
MP David Sweet brought greetings from the prime minister during a brief speech at the Allan Cup’s opening ceremony and mentioned Harper had planned to attend the tournament that evening.
Dundas Real McCoys general manager Don Robertson said Sweet called the prime minister’s office to get permission for the public statement on Harper’s plan to visit Dundas.
“It would have been cool,” Robertson said of having a sitting prime minister come to Dundas to watch the Real McCoys in the Allan Cup national championship.
Robertson said he was made aware of Harper’s planned trip weeks before the Allan Cup tournament began.