The plan to return Expos could well achieve the blessing of the government of François Legault. The prime minister says he is “open” to raising public funds for construction of a baseball stadium in Montreal.
The elected representative of the Quebec Future Coalition responded on Tuesday to the intention of the Montreal Baseball Group, which will lobby the provincial government to raise public funds for its sports complex project at the Peel Basin in Montreal.
“If we are able to bring a baseball team, then it provides more income than the help we give to the company, everyone is a winner, including the Quebecers,” Mr. Legault said on Tuesday.
Instead of direct subsidies, it is the forgivable loan formula that arouses the Prime Minister’s curiosity. By conditionally giving amounts to the organizers, Quebec would make sure it received a share of the pot, Mr. Legault said.
“What needs to be ensured is that Quebec will receive more spin-offs, and therefore real tax revenue, than the amount of aid that will be given to a business,” he said.
“It is in this sense that we have an openness to the project.” – François Legault, Premier of Quebec
Behind the scenes discussions
The investment firm Claridge, owned by the businessman Stephen bronfman, recently registered in the lobbyist registry to open a discussion with Quebec on behalf of the Montreal Baseball Group. The consortium has been aiming for several years to build a baseball stadium in Peel Basin, with the ultimate goal of housing a professional baseball team.
“The amount of this financial contribution remains to be determined, as well as the sources of funding,” Claridge said in the mandate she gave to her two lobbyists.
The last major sports infrastructure that benefits from public funds is the Videotron Center in Quebec City. The complex, which opened in 2015, was entitled to an injection of $ 200 million from the Liberal government of Jean Charest. Six years later, the arena is still not hosting a professional hockey team.
Further details follow.
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