The potential return of a team of baseball in Montreal will be free of charge for Quebec taxpayers, the Legault administration assures. It remains to be seen whether this means that no financial support will be given to private investors from Quebec, or whether the province intends to make it a “zero cost investment”.
Asked by the parliamentary leader of Quebec solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, at the Blue Room, Prime Minister François Legault assured that there was no doubt that “the government put a penny of taxpayers there”.
“I want him to be very clear on the fact that the plan is not a zero-cost stadium, therefore an investment from the government of Quebec outweighed by economic benefits, but that there will be no and not a single penny of public money invested in the private stadium of Stephen Bronfman ”, asked the solidarity representative.
The Prime Minister was then less sharp, indicating that if ever “it is a baseball stadium, it will not cost Quebec taxpayers a penny”. After the session in the hall, the Minister of Economy Pierre Fitzgibbon agreed in the same direction, indicating that no public money would be invested in the construction of the stadium, but not exclude state support if the economic potential for fallout was found to be “significant”.
At zero price, really?
According to Print, the government is said to be in talks with businessman Stephen Bronfman, who wants to build a baseball stadium in Peel Basin. A financial contribution of up to a few hundred million dollars would be requested. For several months, Quebec has been open to the idea of a contribution, but only if it is made at zero cost to Quebecers.
From this perspective, the tax sums paid by the actors and the financial ripple effects, over the years, will compensate for the amounts the state has paid out. The idea has been widely criticized by the three main opposition parties, which challenge this principle.
“I think it shows that François Legault has completely lost the sense of priorities,” said Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. A baseball stadium with zero costs is like a carbon neutral third link. It’s taking Quebeckers for suitcases. Nobody believes that. “
“We take people for idiots when we say that,” added the leader of the Liberal Party, Dominique Anglade. The reality is that these investments cost taxpayers’ money. “
The Liberal Party believes that other issues are more “prioritized” than the return to a large baseball team in Montreal. The Quebec Party agrees. “This is not a good way to invest public funds, when we see that the health system is in crisis, that we are hesitant to give six million dollars to teachers and kindergarten staff,” supported parliamentary leader Joël Arseneau.
During a potential draft, a baseball team in the major leagues, the Tampa Bay Rays, could be in joint custody between Florida and Montreal. Half of the team’s home games could be played in the big city, which is equivalent to around 40 games per year.