Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What The Toronto Star Said About A Quebec Arena....

That is, when it thought it could damge the Conservatives over the issue. Quite amazingly, the Star, the paper of the Liberal Party of Canada, seems not to want to publish Ignatieff's proise for that same Quebec arena. But why won't they? I present to you Exhibit A, an editorial run in the Star on February 2nd, 2011. I have highlighted the seeetest parts in color.:

"The Harper government is sitting in a $101-billion sinkhole—the two-year federal budget deficit—and is going ahead with billions in corporate tax cuts. The economy is unsteady, young people are anxious about their futures and parents are desperate to pay for daycare. Yet, despite the lack of public support outside La Belle Province, the Tories are still toying with investing millions of dollars in Quebec City’s dream of building a professional hockey arena.

What a misguided idea.

Not only can’t taxpayers afford luxuries like a National Hockey League arena in a city that was abandoned by its hockey team 16 years ago, but other provinces are likely to join the queue for a similar hand-out. Saskatchewan is hoping to build an arena for its football team, the Roughriders. Hamilton wants to refurbish the Ivor Wynne Stadium. And Calgary will likely seek help to fix the 28-year old Saddledome. Who would be able to say no to these other worthy projects if Quebec gets its wish?

When Quebec Conservative MPs don Nordique hockey jerseys to promote their support for the arena, as they did last fall, it amounts to a blatant election ploy.

NHL commissioner Garry Bettman insists the league is not planning to expand and he is concerned that fans’ expectations will be shattered if stadiums like the one proposed for Quebec City are built but never receive a pro hockey team. “I get concerned because I don’t want our fans to be led on,” he says. “We don’t want to get involved in the creation of a building in Quebec City or anywhere else.”

The head of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, has been angling for federal money, and Pierre Karl Péladeau, the CEO of Quebecor Inc., has offered financial help for the $400-million stadium, answering the federal request for private-sector involvement. The Liberals have given a gutless nod to the project provided there is a solid business plan and the arena promotes “cultural outreach in the Quebec City region,” whatever that means. This is an old game played by Quebec (even more than others) before every federal election: give us money and we’ll give you votes.

The irony is that when the Liberal government promised financial help in 2000 for the Ottawa Senators and other NHL teams, Harper, then head of the National Citizens Coalition, took umbrage. “Canadians are being forced to subsidize millionaire hockey team owners,” he cried, “and that’s a mistake.”

The Conservatives should get a penalty for high sticking for even considering this idea. They – and the other federal parties – should drop it now.


Anonymous said...

Here's the difference...Prime Minister Harper said NO after musing on it..He offered to help with roads and sidewalks......Ignatieff says YES, after going after PM Harper on it. Liberals are in it for themselves and votes,and it won't get them any extra seats.I hope Quebecors remember the Liberals and the "sponsorship scandal".Labeling it the arts is a joke. What happened to "waste?" What about SENIORS and EDUCATION, and DAY CARE?The old RED BOOK again. 13 years of BS and continuing.

Anonymous said...

This surprises who???

johndoe124 said...

That's because when you're a Conservative, the Treasury belongs to the people. But when you're a Liberal the Treasury belongs to the government.

gimbol said...

The backroomers in Quebec that are pushing for federal funds for the areana, are the same bunch that thought the rest of the country should bail out Montreal after the 76 Olympics.
The "voters" in Quebec that support this thing need to understand that it won't be someone else that will end up paying for it, it will be them. They also need to realize that no one in the NHL is offering them a franchise.
This will end up being another big-Owe. Avoid it like the plaugue.