By The Canadian Press - Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 0 Comments
QUEBEC – Three Quebec City teens have been charged with planning a shooting at…
QUEBEC – Three Quebec City teens have been charged with planning a shooting at their high school.
The three teens — two boys aged 14 and 15 and a 16-year-old girl — face charges of conspiracy to commit murder and will remain detained until a bail hearing Monday.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police arrested the three early Thursday morning after receiving a phone call from the administration at Le Sommet, a high school in a Quebec City suburb.
Quebec City police spokeswoman Catherine Viel says the three are accused of hatching a plan on Facebook — allegedly a clear plan to cause the deaths of many people at the school.
The alleged plot was directed at school administrators, teachers and students.
After questioning the three teens, authorities decided the serious charges were warranted.
A search of the students’ lockers did not turn up any weapons and police couldn’t say if they had access to any.
But the use of firearms was part of the alleged plot, Viel said, adding that the accused spoke specifically about guns and explosives online.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM - 0 Comments
Thomas Mulcair’s speech to the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada convention in Quebec City last Tuesday. (Mr. Mulcair’s remarks begin around the 6:30 mark.)
(Full disclosure: As an employee of Maclean’s, I am represented by the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild, which is represented nationally by CEP, which is now set to merge with the Canadian Auto Workers. The sum total of my personal involvement in the union is the union dues I pay.)
By Mark Richardson - Monday, June 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM - 0 Comments
Trans-Canada distance: 2,189 km
Actual distance driven: 5,790 km
THEN: (Quebec City) …Quebec’s capital
Trans-Canada distance: 2,189 km
Actual distance driven: 5,790 km
THEN: (Quebec City) Quebec’s capital city isn’t officially on the Trans-Canada Highway but instead lies about 10 kilometres away on the other side of the St. Lawrence River.
The earliest road-trippers came through here, of course. In 1925, Dr. Perry Doolittle, the founder of the Canadian Automobile Association and known as “the Father of the Trans-Canada Highway,” practised here putting his Model-T Ford on rails by switching over his wheels and crossing on the track of the old railway bridge. You can watch the old video here. Doolittle knew that there were no roads yet built north of Lake Superior and that the only way he was going to drive across Canada that year was by using both road and rail.
Thirteen years previously, Thomas Wilby and Jack Haney crossed the river on the ferry and drove onto the steep cobbled streets of the capital, old even a hundred years ago. Wilby described it in his book “A Motor Tour Through Canada”:
“Quebec City is no place for a self-respecting motor car. On landing from the Levis ferryboat, there is apparently no way of mounting to the Upper Town except by a steep ascent following a winding approach to the ancient gates …
“The car, heavily loaded, realized by some mechanical instinct before we did the absurdity of the unequal contest. It showed the white feather, and half-way up tried to run down again backwards. What it actually succeeded in doing was to come to a full stop athwart the line of traffic, while all Gaul collected on the sidewalks. The situation was ludicrously humiliating …
“I sprang out to lighten the load. “Turn her round and back her up! Quick!” I cried, and ingloriously sought self-effacement among the onlookers. Here we were undertaking the longest road tour ever attempted in Canada, and yet we were unable to climb a paved hill! …
“The car manoeuvred for the right-about-turn while I glared into a shop-window with ostentatious indifference, and decided to go in and buy something for which I had no earthly need. From the inside of the shop, I could see the car creeping laboriously backwards up the hill while the crowd panted along in its wake.”
Is it any wonder that the driver, Haney, loathed his passenger?
NOW: (Riviere du Loup) The short stretch of highway south of here that connects traffic to New Brunswick is a billion-dollar construction project in Quebec. When it’s finally completed in 2018, it will provide a four-lane highway similar in quality and safety to that in New Brunswick.
About half the current Trans-Canada between here and the southern provincial border is still a single lane in each direction, and so has a higher than normal accident rate as vehicles grow impatient to pass slower traffic.
After driving through New Brunswick on excellent road, it’s a lesson to drive alongside the construction and appreciate just how much blasting and leveling has to occur to build a highway. It’s easy to assume, as a driver, that the route has always been fairly flat and straightforward, but when you see the dozers and backhoes among the huge rocks and rubble, smoothing out the way, you realize why road building is so expensive – and such an astonishing feat of engineering. And I’m still far from the mountains.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT … (Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!) Nobody’s quite sure how this small town got its name, but as best I can tell, it’s the only community in North America with an exclamation mark in its title.
The official story says that it’s derived from an old French word for a barrier, because of nearby Lake Temiscouata which blocked the progress of early explorers. Another story says that it came from the local native word “hexcuewaska”, which means “something unexpected” and again describes the nearby lake.
My favourite was told to me by the local tourist guide, who said that when the first explorers saw the lake, they were so taken by its beauty that they couldn’t help but cry out “ha ha!”
Whichever, residents don’t usually use the full name when they’re talking of their town but instead just refer to it as Saint-Louis, hence the Villa Saint-Louis and the Bar Saint-Louis. That’s too bad. I think that if I want a drink, I’d much rather visit a Bar Ha! Ha!
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM - 0 Comments
The NDP notes that on May 23, 2002, the leader of the opposition stood in the House and asked for a government minister’s resignation.
Under the circumstances, I want to know if the minister of public works has done the honourable thing and offered his resignation, and has the Prime Minister done the right thing and accepted it?
The minister in this case was Don Boudria, who had confessed to staying in the luxury chalet of an individual who did business with Mr. Boudria’s department. The leader of the opposition at the time was Stephen Harper.
Christian Paradis told the House yesterday that no lobbying took place during his stay at Marcel Aubut’s hunting lodge, but government officials now say the topic of Quebec City arena did come up.
Speaking with reporters after QP yesterday, Thomas Mulcair said he is eager to hear what the Prime Minister thinks of the variously embattled Industry Minister. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 5:33 PM - 0 Comments
Daniel LeBlanc considers Paul Dewar’s showing.
There was a strong feeling among people following the event that Ottawa MP Paul Dewar was the weakest performer in French. Mr. Dewar is working every day with a tutor, but he had problems expressing his thoughts, especially when he could not rely on his notes. Mr. Dewar frequently used short sentences, took a number of pauses and struggled to improvise when he was questioned by rival candidates.
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 1:39 PM - 0 Comments
3:15pm. Closing arguments. Mr. Mulcair: Common values, unity, reaching out, taking the Quebec success nationwide. Mr. Topp: Quebec values, the environment, peace, equality, winning. Ms. Nash: Peace and justice, yes to the environment, no to torture, inspire, bring together and unite. Mr. Dewar: Solidarity, peace, climate change, human rights, no to capital punishment. Mr. Cullen: I drank Caribou last night, these people are all great candidates, we need to think about the next steps, I’m not afraid of new ideas.
And that’s that. Handshakes, hugs and cheek kisses all round. I’ve no idea who won that. I suspect the consensus top four—Mulcair, Topp, Dewar, Nash—remains more or less in place, with perhaps some changes in order. It’ll be interesting to see what the Quebec press says about Mr. Dewar’s French.
3:11pm. Mr. Topp challenges Mr. Dewar on support for culture and protecting French artists on the Internet.
3:08pm. Mr. Mulcair asks Ms. Nash if she favours a seat for Quebec at UNESCO. Ms. Nash says yes. Does Mr. Mulcair figure he’s the frontrunner right now? Or is he conscious of the fact that he is sometimes reputed to be difficult to work with? Or both?
3:05pm. Mr. Cullen challenges Mr. Mulcair on working with other parties. Mr. Mulcair argues that NDP supporters want nothing to do with the Liberal party. Mr. Cullen tries again. Mr. Mulcair says the party needs to expand its base, but it needs to be clear with voters.
3:03pm. Ms. Ashton and Mr. Mulcair manage a slight disagreement on whether aid delivery needs its own department.
3:02pm. Mr. Dewar asks what Ms. Nash would do if Quebec introduces fees for health care. Ms. Nash says that’s a decision for Quebec.
2:59pm. A second pick-a-fight round. Ms. Nash challenges Mr. Topp on not having his seat: will he ask an MP to step down so that he can run in Quebec? Mr. Topp notes the last time party members picked a leader who didn’t have a seat (Jack Layton). Ms. Nash notes that Mr. Layton had experience as a politician. Mr. Topp notes that Ms. Nash has three years of experience as an MP and he’s got many years of experience working in an NDP government.
2:54pm. For whatever it’s worth, here is one assessment of the candidates’ skills en francais.
2:46pm. That was fun. A whole debate on taxes would be even more fun.
2:41pm. Mr. Dewar challenges Mr. Topp on not having a seat in Parliament. Mr. Topp dismisses the question and smacks Mr. Dewar for appointing a deputy leader already. Ms. Nash picks up this point and wonders why Mr. Dewar’s deputy leader (Charlie Angus) is another anglophone from Ontario. Ms. Nash suggests this disrespects francophone Quebeckers. Mr. Dewar defers to his “next 70″ plan, which apparently involves maintaining the party’s foothold in Quebec.
2:39pm. Mr. Topp challenges Mr. Mulcair on government revenues. Suggests he’s planning to fund government programs through environment policy, a la Stephane Dion. Mr. Topp makes aggressive hand gestures, challenges him to agree that it’s time to end the imbalance of the current tax system. Mr. Mulcair says you have to consider “other options” (cap-and-trade, tax havens).
2:35pm. I don’t think I quite caught what Niki Ashton thinks Paul Dewar has to retract. Mr. Mulcair invites Ms. Ashton to muse about how young people can contribute to foreign policy. And also what she would do to get more young people voting. That seemed a bit too easy.
2:32pm. Mr. Singh challenges Mr. Topp on how charities would be impacted by changes to capital gains exemptions. Mr. Topp says Mr. Singh should read his plan because that plan covers this. Mr. Singh is undeterred. Mr. Topp invites Mr. Singh to listen to his answers: that his plan takes charities into account.
2:29pm. The pick-a-fight round. The candidates are lectured on how to disagree. Mr. Cullen asks Ms. Nash how she plans to unify progressive voters. Ms. Nash dismisses any formal linkage with the Liberals. Mr. Cullen wonders why it’s okay to work with parties after an election, but not before. Ms. Nash says the party must remain “faithful” to its principles and “inspire” more people to vote for the NDP.
2:15pm. “As a Prime Minister what would you do to improve Canada’s international profile? And why would you be a better representative than the other candidates?” A greater commitment to fighting global climate change is the popular answer. Also: a renewed focus on peace and peacekeeping. This is where specific follow-ups would help. Would you sign a global climate pact that didn’t include China or the United States? What reduction targets would you set and how would you get Canada to that goal? What would you do about Iran? What about Syria? Did you support intervention in Libya?
2:03pm. Opening statements overly simplified: Paul Dewar worked in Central America. Brian Topp makes fun of Josee Verner. Nathan Cullen loves asymmetric federalism. Niki Ashton doesn’t like ideology and partisanship. Peggy Nash says Stephen Harper doesn’t represent Quebec. Martin Singh has business experience. Thomas Mulcair is from Quebec.
2:01pm. Could they not find anyone to fill out those seats behind the stage?
1:57pm. The official theme of this debate is “Canada on the world stage.” The real theme of this debate is “Can Paul Dewar speak French well enough to assuage concerns about his abilities in his second language?” I’m in no position to judge myself (I’ll be watching CPAC’s English feed). But francophone viewers are free to pass on their assessments.
We’ll be back shortly to commence the live-blog festivities.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM - 24 Comments
Wading into a discussion about rail service between Quebec City and Windsor, Conservative MP Jeff Watson ventures an interesting stance on government spending.
On Wednesday I asked Essex MP Jeff Watson, who sits on the federal transportation committee, why Canada couldn’t do something similar on the Quebec City-Windsor line – say, invest $100 million per year in the corridor to gradually boost speeds. ”Why?” Watson shot back. “Rail is not profitable. Why would we invest $100 million a year in something that’s not profitable?”
The difficulty here would be applying this standard to spending on health care, the military or policing and law enforcement. With the exception of collecting taxes, is there much of anything a government does that turns a profit?
By Martin Patriquin - Friday, June 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
What the resignations of four high-profile members of the Parti Québécois—over a hockey arena, no less—says about the sovereignist movement
The Parti Québécois, Quebec’s leading sovereignist party, which has twice taken the province to the brink of leaving Canada, is no stranger to bouts of self-destruction. Save for a fellow named Jacques Parizeau, every PQ leader has either been pushed out or resigned under duress brought on by restive party members. At the best of times, leading this party of strong minds and ample egos is like herding cats. When things are bad—say, when the leader appears to be wavering on matters of sovereignty or language—it can be a bloodbath. These purges have spared no one, not even Quebec’s secular saint René Lévesque, who left the party he co-founded thoroughly demoralized in 1985.
On the face of it, then, there is little surprise that the party, which hasn’t had a decent psychodrama since then-leader André Boisclair resigned in 2007, should see four of its prominent MNAs publicly bolt from the party over a matter of principle. No surprise, that is, until you consider the principle in question isn’t one of independence or tongue, but a Quebec City hockey arena that hasn’t even been built yet.
The city, long starved of a professional hockey team, is pining for a return of the NHL. Last month, Quebec City area MNA Agnès Maltais introduced a private member’s bill that would prevent legal action over a deal with Quebecor Inc., which would see the media giant operate a hockey arena built with public funds. (The bill is necessary because the deal may contravene the province’s municipal charter, which states that municipal government cannot subsidize private companies.) PQ Leader Pauline Marois supported the bill—and made it clear that her charges must do the same before the end of the current parliamentary session.
By Paul Wells - Friday, June 10, 2011 at 9:40 AM - 99 Comments
Paul Wells on how Jacques Parizeau lives to undermine leaders who don’t share his reckless passion for sovereignty
Consider the curious case of Pauline Marois: intelligent, dedicated, elegant, prone to losing. In 1985, she ran for the Parti Québécois leadership and lost to Pierre-Marc Johnson, who would not last two years in the job. In 2005, she ran again and lost to André Boisclair, who would not last two years in the job. In 2007, she ran again, unopposed this time, and did not lose. She has kept the job for nearly four years. Her leadership even survived an election loss at the end of 2008. So that’s something.
In April, she won the most resounding vote of confidence of any leader in her party’s history, over 93 per cent. By that shaky measure she’s more popular among Péquistes than René Lévesque or Lucien Bouchard ever were. Most polls suggest she’ll beat the desperately unpopular Jean Charest in the next provincial election. And yet Marois’s PQ is falling apart.
On Monday, three members of her caucus resigned to sit as Independents. On Tuesday morning a fourth joined them. Each said she’s a great lady, while admitting she leads a party they can no longer support. Marois scrambled to contain the damage, or indeed simply to comprehend it. Well she might: no wily opponent brought her this low. It was all an accident. She was side-swiped by two of the biggest egos in the history of Quebec politics.
By Philippe Gohier - Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 6:55 PM - 6 Comments
It’s hard to feel much sympathy for PQ leader Pauline Marois. It was an…
It’s hard to feel much sympathy for PQ leader Pauline Marois. It was an absolutely terrible idea for the PQ to support bill 204, which would immunize Quebecor’s arena rental deal with Quebec City from being tested before the province’s courts. It was an even worse idea for her to be petty and belligerent about it. The word ‘comeuppance’ keeps coming to mind.
At the same time, the PQ’s plight has become so pathetic as to be pitiable. Marois, you’ll recall, was already looking for ways to patch her battered caucus this morning after three party super-heavyweights—Louise Beaudoin, Pierre Curzi, and Lisette Lapointe—bolted yesterday. But that’s when Jean-Martin Aussant abruptly quit, giving the impression a full-blown mutiny was underway. In fact, Marois’s downfall is exactly what Aussant had in mind, telling reporters the PQ leader should resign.
Jean Charest drove in the final stake this afternoon when he announced the vote on bill 204 would be postponed until the fall. All that infighting inside the PQ, all that strategizing about how to win a vote that was threatening to derail Marois’s political career? Useless—all of it. Continue…
By Philippe Gohier - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM - 51 Comments
Winnipegers have a mighty comedown ahead of them when they finally see what the…
Winnipegers have a mighty comedown ahead of them when they finally see what the Thrashers look like on the ice, but kudos to them for having seemingly landed a reincarnation of the Jets without making fools of themselves in the process. Because that’s an apparently rare way to go about dealing with the NHL. In Quebec City, for instance, the Nordiques saga has officially crossed over to the surreal.
Before we get into this, I should make something clear: those of you who know me may have occasionnally (okay, repeatedly) heard me say people get the government they deserve. And it’s certainly true that I’m a firm believer in the idea. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what my fellow Quebecers could possibly have done to earn the politicians they’ve got.
The latest twist in the sorry Nordiques gong show started earlier this month Continue…
By Philippe Gohier - Friday, March 4, 2011 at 6:48 PM - 23 Comments
When it comes to extracting money from local governments, the NHL has it down to a science
What is it about the NHL that makes local politicians so desperate for its approval? Whatever it is, Gary Bettman, Pierre-Karl Péladeau, and Matthew Hulsizer have managed to parlay that desperation into cheap, low-risk contracts with local governments that hold the promise of hundreds of millions in assets in return. Of the three, Bettman’s act may be the most impressive, if only because he’s performing it in two cities at once. But it’s hard to neglect just how well Péladeau has played his hand in Quebec City.
Consider where Péladeau now stands on the Nordiques file: the municipal and provincial governments in Quebec City have now formally promised to build an NHL rink in the provincial capital using public money. All the while, these same governments that are shelling out hundreds of millions to give this hypothetical franchise a home seem only tangentially interested in actually acquiring a team. It’s easy to see why: it wouldn’t be theirs anyway. The team would belong to Péladeau.
Péladeau has managed to become the presumptive owner of the Nordiques by committing next to nothing in the way of actual funds. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 6:27 PM - 10 Comments
Jim Flaherty, today. “The government does not have a program to fund sports arenas for professional sports teams. We’re going to stay away from subsidizing professional sports.”
Josee Verner, yesterday. Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to speak to Mayor Labeaume at lunchtime. He told me about the agreement between Quebecor and the City of Quebec. That being said, public money remains the primary source of funding for the project. It is very important to point out that the project includes an extremely important urban renewal component, as recommended in the Rousseau report. I have had the opportunity to talk about the infrastructure with my colleague, and if the federal government can contribute under existing programs, it will help with road infrastructure.
By Colby Cosh - Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 9:49 PM - 24 Comments
I kind of admire John Allemang’s Thursday think piece for the Globe about public funding for professional sports facilities. It’s very direct. Pleas for subsidies to billionaires usually aren’t. But Allemang lays the merchandise right out there on the street corner:
It may be hard, days after the Super Bowl’s cheesy excesses, to think of professional sports franchises as needy, noble cultural institutions. But that’s a key part of the pitch campaigners for new sports venues across the country use to get at government funds—money originally earmarked for broad-based community projects, not facilities used by for-profit professional teams. [emphasis mine]
The piece starts by asking why pro sports shouldn’t be subsidized with working people’s tax dollars when museums and concert halls are. The most obvious answer, and stop me if you’ve heard this, is that professional sport at the uppermost level is played for profit by people who are already millionaires. Allemang wouldn’t want you to think he doesn’t know this. He throws it right in your teeth, and goes on to make his argument for giving your money to the ultra-rich. It’s kind of funny, really: Allemang’s argument kind of has the “trickle-down” structure often imputed to supply-side economics—sure, we’ll provide a big cash benefit to the wealthy, and when they’re done devouring their share, they’ll puff a cloud of hedonic externalities into the atmosphere of the community.
The real news in this piece is that culture producers feel so defensive and frightened about their own public subsidies that they’re willing to enter into a coalition with pro athletes and team owners. In 2011, it seems, artists are unable to make the strictly moral case for any distinction between high culture and sports, and they sense that the taxpayer has grown insensitive to pleas of poverty from people who were damnfool enough to spend decades mastering the bassoon. Under these circumstances, their brightest hope is to join hands with Jason Spezza and Daryl Katz and say that all must have prizes.
This requires us to ignore the obvious in several respects, but, again, Allemang is very fearless about this.
Take the plans for the new $400-million Quebec amphitheatre, which will be announced Thursday. The building may look and sound like a hockey arena designed to lure back an NHL team to the home of the long-gone Nordiques, but for fundraising purposes, according to Quebec Mayor Régis Labeaume, it’s actually a “multifunctional” entertainment facility…
The building “looks and sounds like a hockey arena” designed to lure the NHL back to Quebec because that is exactly what it is, and what everybody knows it to be. Allemang doesn’t dispute this. He simply goes on to treat the pretended purpose as the real one and write the whole article in a weird sort of oratio obliqua, taking as his axiom what he is supposed to have been demonstrating.
Now, me, I wouldn’t give a nickel in tax to any public entertainment if I had a say in the matter. As Tyler Cowen recently observed, arts funding is, in practice, a regressive subsidy of the hobbies of the affluent, so it fails the socialist’s redistributive-justice test as badly as it does the libertarian’s “laissez faire, laissez passer” one. The usual case in its favour amounts to a caveman’s grunt of “Arts good”. That leaves the door open for those who can grunt “Sports good” with equal conviction and justice.
But I’ll say this for arts subsidies: they do have the potential, for better or worse, to give us more arts. There is no limit to the number of bright youngsters we could turn into bassoonists or abstract expressionist painters or short-documentary-subject directors. But our major professional sports leagues are run as closed cartels, and most of them (though not the CFL!) have reached a common natural size limit of 30-32 teams. Practically speaking, subsidies to the NHL will not increase the total supplied quantity of NHL hockey; if Quebec City is to have a team, someone else will have to lose one. Nor is there any realistic reason to expect these subsidies to flow through to the consumer in the absence of any conceivable shift in supply.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 11, 2011 at 6:16 PM - 33 Comments
Transport Minister Chuck Strahl dismisses any use of gas tax revenues to fund an arena in Quebec City.
“We have no plans to change that criteria,” Infrastructure Minister Chuck Strahl told reporters in Montreal. ”(The program is) quite flexible. It’s not infinitely flexible,” he added.
And yet, “a PMO spokesman explained that Strahl’s comments on Friday applied only to the gas tax—not to the possibility of funding an arena.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 9:03 AM - 21 Comments
The Conservatives may or may not allow gas tax revenues to be used to build a hockey arena in Quebec City, but the mayor of Quebec City isn’t open to using the city’s gas tax funding to build that arena and he and Quebec Premier Jean Charest are now ready to go ahead without the federal government’s involvement. Regardless, the mayor of Edmonton is upset, the city of St. Catharines is interested and the city of Regina is befuddled.
Chuck McDonald, director of finance for the City of Regina, said out of the $10.66 million in gas tax received for 2011, $4 million will go to bridge renewal, $1.18 million is for street renewal, $3.66 is for new buses and $1.82 million is for the new landfill. Such spending is typical for the gas tax dollars.
“If I understand correctly and they would designate that facilities would be eligible, it really is a question of robbing Peter to pay Paul, because if we were to dedicate it to a facility, it means we’d have to find other funding for street infrastructure or the fleet. The pie stays the same size,” McDonald said. ”It would provide more flexibility, but we’ve got our core things that we have to invest in. We would have to find funding somewhere else for these things.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM - 73 Comments
Greg Weston previews the government’s next move.
Sources tell CBC News that the Conservative government is considering allowing part of the federal gas tax revenues to be used for construction of “large entertainment centres” such as the proposed new Quebec City arena. Cities and towns across the country currently share an annual pot of just over $2 billion from the federal gas taxes collected at the pumps.
While municipalities are free to pick their own projects, the federal government stipulates the gas-tax money can only be used for infrastructure such as roads, sewers and water treatment systems. Sources say the Harper government is considering simply amending the federal regulations to allow municipalities to spend all or part of their annual gas-tax funds on entertainment facilities such as a new NHL arena.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 31, 2011 at 10:04 AM - 13 Comments
Speaking over the weekend in Carolina, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the question of a team for Quebec City.
“I don’t want anybody getting excited,” said Bettman. “The fact of the matter is, over the last couple of years, there have been lots of stories suggesting a building in Quebec City is a done deal, that the money has been raised. Nobody has told me that, and in the conversations that I’ve had with a variety of people, including the mayor and the premier, we have said, ‘We’re not planning on expanding, we’re not planning on relocation, so we cannot promise you a franchise.’
“If there’s a new building separate and independent from us for whatever reason and the opportunity presents itself with respect to a franchise, it’s no different than what I said about Winnipeg. But we don’t want people building a building on our account expecting that there is going to be a franchise, because we’re not in a position to promise one right now.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 5:11 PM - 18 Comments
The government decides it’s not quite ready to decide on the most important public policy question of our time.
The government says it will give the city’s mayor time to raise more private-sector funding before it considers a federal role. The Conservatives’ top local minister, Josee Verner, told a news conference that the government has yet to receive a proposal that includes private-sector money. ”We do not have everything we need,” Verner said. ”It is important that (Mayor Regis) Labeaume continue (raising funds).”
The Liberals released a comprehensive accounting of their position today.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 3:59 PM - 27 Comments
The maverick from Beauce reassures everyone that he has not wavered in his maverickness.
As I have said and written several times over the past months, I believe that the private sector should be mainly responsible for this type of projects. Moreover, at a time when we have a big budget deficit to eliminate, financing sporting infrastructure should not be a priority. Providing funds to one project in Quebec City would also mean that the government has to fund other projects across the country to be fair to everyone, which would cost huge sums of money. I have not changed my position in any way on this issue.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM - 61 Comments
A senior federal official confirmed that the Saskatchewan project is a “test case” that will determine how the government deals with large sports infrastructure projects, including a politically charged proposal from Quebec City. The P3 program is deemed, at this point, to be the most likely source of federal funding for stadiums and hockey arenas.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 25, 2010 at 9:01 AM - 0 Comments
Maxime Bernier addresses the faithful in Quebec City.
Supporters of big government have been in power for fifty years. They have brought us to a constitutional and economic dead end. Every day they endanger our prosperity and freedom a little more. It is high time for supporters of freedom to get together and propose a new realistic vision of Quebec’s future.
Let’s state it loudly and forcefully: we need a smaller, less interventionist and less centralized government in Ottawa; but also a smaller, less interventionist and less controlling government in Quebec City. A new chapter in Quebec’s history is being written beginning today. And together, through the strength of our convictions, we are the ones who shall be its main characters!
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:16 AM - 0 Comments
Transport Minister Chuck Strahl, responding yesterday to a question about the proposed arena for Quebec City.
Mr. Speaker, of course many Canadians are proud sports fans. They support their sports team wherever they happen to be in all regions of this country and that is great to see. It brings not only cultural opportunities but also economic opportunities across the country.
These initiatives are primarily led by private sector interests. In the case of the NHL, these are wealthy owners along with wealthy hockey players who bring us a lot of fun, but they need to take the lead on this and we look forward to any leadership they might show in the private sector as we move forward with this kind of initiative.