Brian Mulroney’s niece says inquiry isn’t about playing ‘political games’

From the FT.com US business pages.

Caroline Mulroney says the public inquiry into the botched planning of the Ottawa light rail is not about settling political scores.

Speaking at a news conference in Toronto, where she was accepting a nomination for election as a member of the municipal house, she said Ms. Wynne’s decision to call the inquiry was far from an act of revenge.

Ms. Mulroney, the niece of former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, said it was always clear that Ms. Wynne was trying to bring down her government after riding roughshod over her when Ms. Wynne ran against Ms. Mulroney for a Toronto riding in 2014.

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When Premier Kathleen Wynne decided on the inquiry, she said Ms. Mulroney said, “karma was coming back to bite you.”

But Ms. Mulroney also said she decided to run for mayor in Toronto on her own, and although she may still do so, she emphasized the inquiry was not about revenge.

Ms. Mulroney ran unsuccessfully as the Progressive Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre in 2014 and was beaten by Ms. Wynne, now Premier. She was an outspoken critic of Ms. Wynne after being defeated.

“I asked my political opponents for their endorsement and it didn’t go,” she said at the news conference. “I said, ‘What can I do?’ I asked a lot of people and people said, ‘that was the wrong thing to do, you shouldn’t do that.'”

Ms. Mulroney and the Conservatives also said they were pleased with the step Ms. Wynne was taking on Wednesday, saying it should improve government relations with the public.

“We need to have stronger public confidence in government, not a weaker one,” said Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford.

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In a news conference with Ms. Mulroney in Brampton earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Ford said that if his party wins the June election, it would be “almost impossible” for the regional councillors to hold the land for the light rail line to be built as originally planned, instead of as many as six downtown stops.

The provincial government has already agreed to give a consortium of builders that was designated to build the light rail project a 14-year extension of time on the land deal.

“It’s pretty clear that if your land was set aside for that, the province didn’t want to get involved,” he said.

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