May 20, 2011
Winnipeg MPs cheer Jets
By JESSICA MURPHY, Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA -- “Go Jets, Go!” Winnipeg MPs cheered on Friday.
Federal politicians are as excited as the Winnipeg Jets fans who flooded the streets for an impromptu party Thursday night at news the city appears to have scored an NHL team.
“Let the bells ring out and the banners fly,” exclaimed Winnipeg Centre NDP MP Pat Martin on Friday. “Our prayers are answered and our dreams are realized.” A report published by the Globe and Mail on Thursday indicated the NHL team”s return to the city is a done deal and that league commissioner Gary Bettman was heading north next week to make the news official.
The NHL hasn”t confirm the report.
But that didn”t stop Winnipeg South Tory MP Rod Bruinooge from updating his Twitter and Facebook profile pictures Friday in celebration. The new photos show the politician posing on Parliament Hill in a vintage Jets jersey.
“When they left, it changed the life of the city,” he said, noting Winnipeg is currently going through an economic renewal. “We view the NHL potential return as an indicator of what”s going on in Winnipeg right now.” Bruinooge may find himself in line for season tickets with colleague Shelly Glover, a Conservative MP in the city”s Saint Boniface riding.
“I”d wear my hockey jerseys to work if I could,” she said.
Glover said Jets fans stayed true to winning the franchise back for 15 years.
“We have the best fans, bar none,” she said.
As for Quebec Nordiques fans, who have been lobbying to get their franchise back as well, Glover said they need to stay hopeful.
“Keep your dream alive,” she said. “You”ve got to dream or you can”t reach your goals.” Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal MP for Winnipeg North, said he”d be sure to go to “the odd game” if the team did indeed return.
“I have not watched an NHL hockey game since the Jets left,” he said. “It was an emotional roller-coaster as we watched the Jets skate up and down the rink.” But he was less convinced than his peers that the NHL team would benefit Winnipeggers.
“I”d love to see the actual dollar figure,” he said.
The Winnipeg Jets left the city in 1996.