No federal funds for Quebec arena

JESSICA MURPHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:59 PM ET

MONTREAL - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has dumped responsibility for the funding of Quebec City’s new amphitheatre project resoundingly in the lap of the private sector.

“There is no federal program in place to finance professional sports installations - not now, not in the last decade,” the prime minister said in a year-end interview with QMI Agency.

“Professional sports have been the responsibility of the private sector.”

But Harper didn’t shut the door completely on some federal funds flowing to the provincial capital for the project.

“Historically, any federal involvement in this type of project is minimal, modest,” he said.

“If we were to change that it would create a demand in every big city across the country.”

The proposed project is part of a planned Olympic bid and necessary for the return of the Quebec Nordiques franchise to the provincial capital.

The city and the province of Quebec have pledged 45% of the estimated $400 million cost of the new rink. Quebec wanted the federal government to ante up the rest.

Conservatives have previously played coy over whether they would inject funds into the ambitious project.


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