Canadian Club plans evaporate
By Dave Yasvinski
Peter Jennings' appearance at Huron College last night was cancelled due to a minor oversight nobody booked a room for his speech.
Jennings was to be the first in a series of speakers coming to campus courtesy of invitations from the Huron College Canadian Club. He was telephoned Sunday and informed not to come after the club made the realization on Friday they did not have a room.
"The room was thought to be booked but it wasn't. We found out Friday and tried at the last minute to get a room booked the organizational structure broke down," said Brett McDermott, co-president of the club.
McDermott said he recognized they are at fault and are trying to make it up to the people who bought tickets, with a two-for-one deal on their other scheduled speakers. "We have issued a deal to people who purchased tickets, they can go to any two events they want." He added they are more than willing to give refunds to people who want their money back.
"This is a case of something being left to the last minute," said Bill Simpson, president of the Huron College Student Council. "I feel confident the club will make arrangements to keep people happy hopefully this was a learning experience," he said.
Chris Hardy, the club's other co-president, said a room was actually booked, but for the wrong time. "We tried everything possible to run the event. There was a small room available that would hold 60 people, but it's not the sort of room you would bring Peter Jennings to."
Jennings was very open to changing the date and coming back in the spring, Hardy said.
One of the other big name speakers scheduled to come to Huron College early next year is Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
Jennifer Lang, press secretary for Chretien, said she was unaware of this booking. "I don't think its been confirmed at all. Nothing's confirmed until we put out a media advisory," she said, adding advisories are only put out three days before an event.
McDermott said they received as much of a confirmation as a politician can give from Chretien's office. "We spoke directly with [Chretien's] scheduler on several occasions. As far as we know he is confirmed to be coming."
The club's next scheduled speaker is Bob Rae on Nov. 25.