Hamilton MPP wears T-shirt in legislature touting NHL team

TORONTO – Hamilton New Democrat Paul Miller had permission to wear a special T-shirt this morning in the Ontario legislature.

It read “Hockey Night in Hamilton” to reflect the efforts of the city and its politicians to back Jim Balsillie’s bid to move the Phoenix club there. Shirts with slogans are normally banned in the legislature, even for members of the public watching from the galleries.

Hamilton city council approved giving Balsillie, the co-CEO of Research in Motion, exclusive rights to Copps Coliseum for at least 20 years.

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Premier Dalton McGuinty has left the door open to using public funds to help fix up the arena in hopes of attracting the Phoenix Coyotes.

Balsillie is looking for up to $120 million in federal and provincial funds to renovate the arena if he buys the bankrupt Coyotes.