Legault opens to fund a baseball stadium in Montreal

Legault opens to fund a baseball stadium in Montreal

(Québec) Le premier ministre François Legault s’est dit ouvert mardi à financer la construction d’un stade de baseball à Montréal, pourvu que le retour d’une équipe se traduise par des retombées intéressantes. Cela dit, les réactions à cette ouverture du gouvernement restent mitigées.

Tommy ChouinardTommy Chouinard
La Presse

Henri Ouellette-VézinaHenri Ouellette-Vézina
La Presse

M. Legault a fait cette sortie lors d’une conférence de presse, mardi après-midi, alors que le dossier du retour du baseball majeur dans la métropole refait surface. Lundi, Claridge, société d’investissement de l’homme d’affaires Stephen Bronfman, s’est inscrite au Registre des lobbyistes du Québec afin de pouvoir discuter avec le gouvernement d’une « contribution financière » de Québec pour un stade de baseball.

Questionné à ce sujet, François Legault a rappelé la stratégie de son gouvernement de miser sur l’attribution de « prêts pardonnables » à des entreprises, c’est-à-dire des prêts qui peuvent se transformer en subventions si les investissements permettent de créer des emplois ou de générer des revenus supplémentaires pour l’État.

« Si, demain matin, il y avait une équipe de baseball au Québec, il y aurait des joueurs qui paieraient des impôts au Québec, des impôts qu’on n’aurait pas si on n’avait pas d’équipe de baseball, a-t-il expliqué. Si on prend une partie de ces revenus d’impôt là et qu’on les donne à une entreprise qui nous amène cette entreprise-là, tout le monde est gagnant. Ce [dont] We need to make sure, that is, that Quebec will receive more spin-offs, and therefore real tax revenue, than the amount of assistance that will be given to a business. ”

Legault opens to fund a baseball stadium in Montreal


Francois Legault

There are several well-known business people behind this project. It’s not just Mr. Bronfman.

François Legault, Premier of Quebec

The city of Montreal was called to respond, and was still cautious, which only indicated that it would wait for “more details from the government” before making any other comments. In March last year, Mayor Valérie Plante raised the tone with promoter Stephen Bronfman and his staff. “They have to show us something absolute. Otherwise we talk, but what are we talking about? She had said. Mr. Bronfman’s company, for its part, had not responded to our requests at the time of publication.

Opposition parties are reacting

In the National Assembly, the opposition parties were quick to react. “It will be difficult, in the context of a pandemic, to think that this is where taxpayers’ money should go. We find ourselves with explosive demands, with problems in our kindergarten, with our entrepreneurs. We have problems with domestic violence, we have problems with mental health, “said Liberal leader Dominique Anglade, while among the leaders Paul P-Pierre Plamondon was also critical.

Do I like baseball? Do I want to look back at Expos? Surely. But it is a priority to respect if we want to maintain respect for the population suffering from the crisis.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, leader of the Parti Québécois

Solidarity member and finance spokesman Vincent Marissal did not mince his words either. “When people die in thousands of badly damaged CHSLDs, I’m not sure we should invest public money in baseball stadiums, but it’s an editorial on my part. We also saw the Videotron Center here, which is not very far, as you can see from the ground, “he insisted.

From all points of view

For Baseball Quebec’s general manager, Maxime Lamarche, François Legault’s reasoning is “logical”. “No one is prepared to write an empty check to any organization. Baseball fans and the public must find their account there, “he says.

“I sincerely believe that Mr. Bronfman’s group wants to leave a legacy to the city, with a truly unifying project. It would not be fair to see millionaires play ball. They want to create an ecosystem that will have economic consequences beyond the people involved, says Lamarche.

But on the Popular Action Front in Urban Reorganization (FRAPRU), spokeswoman Véronique Laflamme is not of the same opinion. “The very possibility that Quebec is considering financing the stadium project when the Pointe-Saint-Charles district, next to the Peel Basin, suffers from the effects of real estate speculation and an accelerated gentrification process, will add insult to injury. Insult,” she said. .

She confirms that the community sector has already been mobilized for several months towards the construction of the stadium, “with a serious proposal for a neighborhood to rebuild this sector”. “Instead of funding the stadium, Quebec should fund the large social housing project to allow tenants in the area to remain in their communities,” says Mme The flames.

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