Quebec City announces arena project

Municipal, provincial governments will move ahead without federal support


Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume and Quebec Premier Jean Charest have announced plans to build a $400-million stadium in hope of attracting an NHL franchise back to the hockey-mad city. Interestingly enough, the federal government wasn’t involved in today’s announcement, which has proven embarrassing for Quebec City Conservative MPs, who were early champions of federal government support. The deal, in which the city and the province each plunk down roughly $180 milllion each, with the remainig to come from the private sector—which will also have theopportunity to invest when (and if) Quebec City gets a team.

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Quebec City announces arena project

  1. As long as the people of Quebec and Quebec City are happy with their respective governments putting this kind of money into sports infrastructure more power to them. Good luck.

    • I just don't want to see at some point the federal government providing funds to the province via the back door i.e. increased equalization, more infrastructure funding etc. etc. Quebec has become an expert at extracting money from the rest of Canada.

      • And so is the Atlantic Provinces… I damn sick of thoughtless Quebec bashing. HOW THE F*** do you think Canada will be united with such comments, methodical discrimination. Damn you ashame me.

        • Lets not be too senstive. My comments were in the context of the arena funding. I do not support funding of arenas in any city or any province. This is not what federal tax dollars should be used for. Let the private sector finance the arena. In my view this is a recipe for a big problem for Quebec taxpayers. Without a major tenant and without the Olympics it could turn into a big problem for Quebec taxpayers who are already highly taxed.

      • What about Winnipeg's Human rights Museum?! Manitoba has been the theatre of some of the most disgusting and worst human rights transgressions (If you don't believe me open your history book pal) and now Canada fully funded for 300 millions!? You don't think that's insulting?! At least the New Coliseum is going be a catalysis of economical growth not only for Québec city but the whole Eastern part of the province. I have been to Québec city recently and guess what!?? THey haven't been touched by the Krach. They'Re economy is growing and it's now time the step up to the rank of a REAL Capital. An International city. Go to Québec you'll see.

        • Look you are entitled to your opinion "pal" just as I am entitled to my opinion.

          I do not agree with putting money into these type of investments. That is not what we pay taxes for. The Human Rights Museum should have been funded by the private sectore etc. etc. However an arena is an entirely different thing. These are toys for rich businessman and elite hockey players. If it was economically feasible the private sector would be clammering to invest.

          Lets see if you are right about the new arena is a catalyst for economic growth. I am afraid you are being rather optimistic but time will tell.

          You suggest that Quebec economy is growing. I hope you are right but at some point Quebec is going to have to address its financial challenges because it is going to have to raise taxes to cover their deficit and huge debt load.

          Just one final point. It is interesting that Quebec is the second largest province in the country but remains as a have not province being subsidized by other provinces. So much for the potential of being a REAL Capital. Real Capital's do not rely on others to support them.

          • Ok. Let's talk about Real Capitals. Let's talk about Toronto who received 500 millions to prepare an Olympic Games they DIDN'T had. What about Vancouver's who's NOT a winter city (I was there it was rather late spring games) who received money from all the Canadians and just ended up with a HUGE debt. I'm just saying that saying that Québec is an expert at extracting money is a big prejudice. All provinces are except alberta. And Québec city is really becoming a ''brain economy'' *only 20% of jobs are 'disposable jobs''. As a Canadian from B.C. I don't mind giving money to public arena.

          • Once again let me repeat. I am not in favour of the government giving money to any of these type of projects.

            However, I keep hearing how prosperous Quebec is . I know I am repeating myself but Quebec is the second largest province in the country. Not so much any of the Maritime provinces. Being the second largest province they continue to be considered a have not province and that has been the case for many, many years. Why is that? Wouldn't you think that a dynamic, well managed province could contribute to the equalization pool rather than extracting from it year after year. I will just remind you that the Bloc who represents Quebec federally just asked for $5 billion for what they consider slights that Canada imposed on Quebec. This demand is in order to support the budget. Its called blackmail.

  2. They built a big arena in my area and the tax payers are supporting it. Now city council is having to get rid of union jobs and hire much lower wage earners to pay for this huge plunder. Plus taxes are higher and less sevices also. I would make sure that it will pay for itself

    • And, from my studies in the sociology of sport, the much-vaunted stimulus such a facility creates in the local economy is relatively inconsequential…injection of income to hospitality enterprises in the immediate vicinity of the facility some days of the week, on a seasonal basis; and a number of service jobs, mostly part-time, low paying, temporary and seasonal in nature.

  3. which will also have theopportunity to invest when (and if) Quebec City gets a team.

    Well, Gary Bettman's only 58, so they have at least 7 years to wait.

  4. St. John's, NL constructed a stadium for their AHL team, the Leafs and a few years later the Leafs moved. There's no accountability for these teams and we saw with the Nordiques when that team was moved.

  5. Not to worry Mr Harper – you could always send em another fiscal imbalance check. Remember to attach the logo prominently now.

    • Watch for the creation of the Quebec Nation Fund. I don't believe this is over for the Canadian taxpayer.

  6. I'd love to see an NHL team representing the Maritimes, but that's not mutually exclusive to Quebec once again fielding a new and perhaps improved NHL franchise. Ontario and Alberta field two teams, and Quebec is certainly large enough to as well. A cynic could ponder that this might seem like a 'let them eat cake' thing, but I push that thought aside as the people seem to really want another venue to hose a franchise.

    Approving federal funding firmly opens up another box, however; and likely in more than one location. For example, Calgary has been talking about needing a new facility as the Saddledome is getting up there in age and limitations; so whatever Quebec gets, the rest of Canada will certainly and rightly expect to receive as well.

    • 'host' a franchise, whoops, lol….

  7. What are the plans for the arena without an NHL team? Another Junior team? AHL? It seams horribly misguided to follow Kansas City in regards of building an empty stadium without a guaranteed headline tenant.
    Bettman is still in charge of the NHL, so don't waste your dollars until a confirmed franchise is on the way.

    • M_A_D_world: you ask "What are the plans for the arena without an NHL team? " Clearly you don't live here in Quebec, where the answer is always "What plans?" Our province loves mega-projects BECAUSE they are mega-projects. Sometimes they never get used (The Olympic Stadium for the last decade), and sometimes they are wildly successful (The "National" Library in Montreal), but the success is besides the point. The mega-project is loved because it is a mega-project. And of course, for fake job creation and pretend nation-building.

      • If it were any other city from any other province this would never have gotten this far in terms of governments falling over each other to hand out the money.
        Given my views of my own Premier, that's saying a lot.

  8. Charest trying to rehab his image, and buying some votes with taxpayers money. The "Liberal" media will now have to show their expertise at being able to suck and blow at the same time. Wasn't it the media who were all hysterical when they were "speculating" that PM Harper and the Cons were going to "fund arenas in Quebec" ? I guess the spin from the media now will be how much the non funding of a Quebec arena by the Conservative Government will hurt their political prospects in Quebec.

  9. Quebec is more in debt than any other province in the nation and suck from the teets of the Western provinces for their expensive socialist programs and yet somehow they think they can find $400 + million for a new stadium and whatever cost it will take to start an NHL team.

    Can somebody explain to me what actually goes on in the mind of a Quebecer as I can't figure them out?

    They wanted the Feds (aka the rest of the country) to fork over part of the cost. Let me ask Quebec City and the Province of Quebec — where the heck is the private money in all this? I haven't heard of even 1 dollar of private funds?

    • That so called remaining 40 million of private funds is only wishful thinking. The reality is the $0 private funds are committed – they are merely hoping for it to appear and if it doesn't the Province and the City are on the hook for the rest. They are already going to be on the hook for the cost overruns which are sure to happen with the greedy construction unions of Quebec. That 400 million is automatically 600 million (200 million in graft and bribes). That's exactly why the big OWE doubled in price and almost didn't meet the deadline for the '76 Olympics.

      • If they had their gas discoveries up and producing, I could see this type of massive spending being a non issue; but those finds won't be producing for a decade, and that's IF Quebec's people don't stand in their own way.

    • Can you blame the Quebecors for thinking they could get money when the Conservative MP's were parading around in Nordiques jerseys saying they could.

    • Actually, if you take the time to read some comments written in french coming from the province, you will find out that the vaste majority of Quebecers are for a new NHL team but totally against money coming from the taxpayer pocket. This decision could mean the ends of the Liberal government in the province. Unfortunately, until a right wing pollitical movement hit the ground in the province, the liberals can only be changed by the PQ. Once again, from that perspertive, the election of a PQ governement is not an indicator of a trend toward separation but the only viable alternative to manage the province. As for the Quebec city mayor, he is just looking at building a lasting legacy for himself and in my opinion the Quebec city citizen should put their desire and emotions asside to look and start looking at the results and the real problems the city is facing.

    • As a Quebecer, I'll explain another reason: because it's in Quebec City.

      Quebec City is supposed to be the Capitol of the "Nation" of Quebec. As such, it get wildly overfunded (yes, the Liberals pander wildly to the sovereignists too) compared to Montreal, Canada's second largest city, which is chronically underfunded because the ethnics and anglos are here.

      Over the last 40 years, Quebec City has duplicated every Federal department and building to create a redundant Ottawa, a massive beurocracy and waste, all to be ready for the glorious day when it is a national capitol. So that's the other reason.

      But it is a really pretty city!

  10. What is wrong with you guys? Why you can't just be happy for others canadians? This is positive!

    • The problem is that most people realise the bill for this new arena will be paid by Canadian taxpayers most of whom do not live in Quebec and the exchange will be for political support for Harper from Quebecers. And this is happening while the Harper government pretends they are trying to reduce the enormous deficit.

    • Agreed, this is positive. Great to see that the feds are not involved as well. The only thing that baffles me a little is why the Mayor does not want one major sponsor like Coke, Pepsi or GM. Read in the French news that he wants to stay away from that.

      Places like Ottawa do not seem to have a problem with their heavy sponsored arena (Scotia place).

      • I read that one of the reasons Bettman has said QC won't get a team is because they don't have the corporate sponorship available to support a NHL arena. So I have no idea why the mayor would be saying this.

    • I want Quebec to get a team, but I don't want Pierre Peladeau getting yet another pile of sweetheart corporate welfare. Quebec can support a team, but whoever gets it should pony up the capital funds themselves.

      Unfortunately, the reality of other cities subsidizing their billionaire owners and money-losing franchises makes corporate welfare inevitable, but we don't have to like it.

  11. OK, I'm happy that they're spending money that isn't there, and taking from basic needs elsewhere in the interim.

  12. They already have one white elephant, what is next?

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