Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon now takes over the duties of Secretary of Baseball and Expose, but is not ready to sign a blank check to promoters in order to put a “third stage on the government’s balance sheet”.
Quebec could finance the construction of a baseball stadium in Montreal if it was profitable and socially acceptable.
“I’ve been in discussion with the promoters for a few months now,” the economy secretary said, referring to him as the baseball secretary.
According to La Press, Stephen Bronfman’s group has asked the Quebec government for a financial contribution estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new stadium.
Quebec will study this proposal. “In government, there is nothing to announce at this time,” Minister Fitzgibbon said. Before extending the amounts, the minister waits to “see the benefits” of Quebec.
An interview with François Legault
Prime Minister Lego and the Secretary of Baseball also met with Mr. Bronfman on February 22, 2021 “to discuss various economic development projects.”
Mr. Fitzgibbon has seen “parts” of the project, but believes it is up to the promoters to deliver them. “After that there will be further discussions,” he said.
And the minister does not want to repeat the mistakes of the past, which means to a large extent a financial deficit in the sports infrastructure. “There will be no Phase III in the Quebec Provincial Government Register,” Mr. Fitzgibbon said. “People have seen the movie. We didn’t like this movie.”
“We consider people stupid”
Opposition parties flatly rejected the idea of investing public money in building a stadium in downtown Montreal. Nobody believed that this project could be realized without cost to the taxpayer.
“We consider people stupid,” said the official opposition leader, Dominique Englade, noting that she would be happy nonetheless to have a baseball game for Montreal. “It’s taking Quebecers for baggage,” said Quebec Solidere parliamentary leader, Gabriel Nadeau Dubois.
“We can learn from our experience,” added Joel Arsenault of Party Quebec, referring to the runway funding in Quebec. He argues that we should not invest public money in this project when the health system is in crisis and the government is reluctant to provide $6 million to nursery teachers.
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