09.10.2010 07:07 AM

Good luck, Reformatories

It’s pretty hard for us Libs to be too critical about the Quebec City arena deal. After all, we turned government on its head to assist the Winnipeg Jets (ouch) and do the Manley NHL thing (double ouch).

So I wish the federal government bonne chance.

They’ll need it.


  1. Anonymously Posted says:

    What was Harper thinking? Ever since he prorogued, something’s gone wrong in his head.

  2. Big L Man says:

    Regardless of the past Lideral ventures, this is a lose lose proposition for the Cons. Winnipeg received 12 mil of infrastructure money towards the construction of the new MTS Centre. Dont kid your self we now want our additional 188 mil for the construction of our new Winnipeg Stadium.

    Regina wants their 200 mil for the construction of their new stadium. Both Calgary and Edmonton, whose arenas are now both old and tired want their 200 million each for the refurbishment and elnlargement of their arenas.

    Halifax and Ottawa are looking for their 200 mil each for stadiums in the hope to attract new CFL teams to their fair cities. I am also certain other Canadian cities are lining up to fund their needs.

    I fully expect to open my Wpg Free Press to a smiling Vic Toews and Steve Fletcher with their Blue Bomber jerseys delivering the 188 mil of bacon. If the photo and anouncement are not there, then I would expect my fellow Winnipegers to do what they did the last time we lost out to Quebec on a pork barrel issue the CF 18 contract. I also pretty much expect the rest of my fellow citizens in all of the other cities to react the same way.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Big L Man,

      Did Bristol Aerospace (Magellan) lose out again when the recent CF-18 maintenance contract went again to the greater Montreal area or has Bristol moved on to other types of work? Thanks.

  3. George says:

    As a former Conservative supporter, the current regime’s abandonment of the principles that attracted me to them in the first place (promises of accountability, fiscal prudence, open government) have made it impossible for me to continue to give them my support. As much as the idea of NOT voting disturbs me, I have to admit I’m sorely tempted – or at least to wreck the ballot, should the election writ ever drop.

    • James Bow says:

      Well, if you want to have your vote count, look at the other candidates in your riding. Write to them, even. Ask them, point blank, whether they’d implement Harper’s accountability promises as he campaigned on them in 2006 (and has, thus far, failed to implement). The New Democrats shared Harper’s enthusiasm for a public appointments commission, and the only reason one has not been assigned is Harper’s personal tantrum when opposition members stood up for a chair that all parties could work with. You might not agree with the other policies the other parties are putting forward, but it’s hard to see how any party, campaigning for parliament, could be opposed to more openness and accountability, and as you say, the party that you supported last time failed you. It’s up to you to talk to your local candidates and decide for yourself which candidate would work the hardest towards said accountability, even in the face of a leadership that might not want to play ball once elected.

      If you don’t get what you want in one election, change your vote in the next. If enough people did this, and rendered the average Canadian government with the lifespan of governments that operated in Italy after the Second World War, maybe enough politicians will clue in, eventually.

      If the mainstream parties don’t appeal to you, consider voting for one of the smaller parties, or for independent candidates. If you can find one that matches your values, so much the better. Even if these parties have no hope of forming the government, if they were to elect a handful of MPs, they would have the advantage of not having to compromise their principles just to obtain power. They can speak and speak and speak and nobody can shut them up. And eventually those voices might exact change. After all, the Reform Party helped convince the Liberals to finally get serious about deficit reduction, and they never had a hope of forming government.

      Forty percent of Canadians who can vote are so tired of the process, they choose not to. If just half chose to vote in the next election, and voted for politicians other than ones running in the mainstream parties, there’d be a political earthquake the likes of which have not been seen since Confederation. You never know: the mainstream parties might learn from such a spanking.

      Failing all of this, you can decline your ballot. When an election takes place, show up to your voting station, announce yourself to the returning officers, take your ballot, and hand it back, saying “I decline my ballot”. The returning officers will check you off as having voted, and then put the unmarked ballot into the ballot box. It will be counted as a spoiled ballot (which means, you can also go behind the screen and actually spoil your ballot — as a DRO, I’ve had the pleasure of reading “None of the Above” and “a crudely drawn representation of a middle finger” into the official record) and won’t effect the final results, but it will be logged. It will be a statistic of something other than staying at home and effectively saying that you consent to the process at hand. If enough Canadians showed up at ballot boxes to decline or spoil enough ballots that they start to outnumber candidates in certain ridings, that may get noticed, and Canadians could start talking about whether or not our current politicians actually have a mandate to do what they’re doing, if so many Canadians just do not have the stomach to vote for them, though they do have the stomach to vote.

      Of course, it goes without saying that if you intend to decline or spoil your ballot, that you be polite about it. The returning officers and other officials at Elections Canada are non-partisan individuals who simply want to contribute to and protect the country’s democratic process. They have nothing to do with the poor politicians that we as Canadians elect. Don’t make a show of destroying your ballot or damage it or do anything else illegal. Just decline it, or have a little fun with your pencil behind the screen. Your point will have been made.

  4. What a perfect metaphor for what is wrong with this country.
    The tail(or ass) wags the dog….again.
    If Harper gives Quebec City this money and ignores Regina,Winnipeg,Edmonton and Calgary(which he will find an excuse or time frame to do)…….I think he is DEAD out here in western Canada.He is not stupid and he does not want to die.Soooo…the only reason I can see for him to do this is that he is no longer in charge of his government.
    There are people in the shadows who want a majority government in Ottawa.I don’t think it matters to them whether it is Conservative or Liberal……they are in control,either way.
    This move will most certainly cause the “cause” of “Separtism” to explode at all points west of Ontario…….and yes,I think B.C. will join(and maybe dump the HST at the same time)

    • Namesake says:

      the ReformaTories’ utter betrayal of ‘most everything they pledged to do if they attained office — institute openness, accountability, transparency, & free votes; abolish waste, patronage, & pork-barreling (& lucrative MP pensions!) — is an argument for: Western separatism? Huh?

      Your Western darling _is_ running the gov’t. The problem isn’t where he’s doing it from (Ottawa), as if _it_ is the seductress, and he wouldn’t do something very similar if he’s been ruling from Calgary as the capitol of ‘The West.’

      The lesson you’ve (almost) learned is just the old one: Power Corrupts. They’d abandon all those same principles, albeit by pandering to slightly different constituencies, if they were governing just a region instead of the whole nation, just as surely as a serial adulterer would still be a serial adulterer (and succumb to temptation once again) even if they moved to a different city, no matter what they might say.

      But, sigh, being from Alberta, you apparently continue to fail to learn from history, and, drawing the wrong conclusion, pledge to repeat the excercise.

    • JStanton says:

      … you sure don’t help advance the cause of western wing-nut deniers.

      Firstly, the majority of Westerners will continue to support Harper whatever he does. He screws you over on a daily basis, and you have asked for more of the same by your continued support over the past 5 years. It’s the Ralph Klein syndrome; evidently there is something in the water (and I don’t mean rye).

      Secondly, the only people ‘in the shadows’ are most Canadians, who have been marginalized by Mr. Prima Donna Harper’s government of one.

      You may be at least half right with your notion that, after 5 years of the Stephan Harper Party, it hardly ‘matters to them whether [the government majority] is Conservative or Liberal’, in the sense that Canadians will settle for any government that includes parental supervision, and this necessarily excludes either Mr. Harper or any other freakish Reform Party Frankenstein creation.

      • James Bow says:

        “Firstly, the majority of Westerners will continue to support Harper whatever he does”

        This is a nitpicky point, but what you say is not exactly true. Even in Alberta, the majority of eligible voters did not vote for the Conservative party. They either voted for other parties, or did not vote.

  5. Oh Yeah……..I forgot to say that if Harper and his government give Quebec city this money,it will do them no good in the long term.
    The province of Quebec,it’s people and it’s politicians will take this money,spend it on themselves and then continue to support the Bloc…..it is how they do business.
    Everyone knows this.
    For decades,our federal government has tried to buy off the Quebec voter.Long term it never works.The people of quebec care only for themselves….they always have and they always will.
    Canada,to them,is simply a cash cow to be milked and stripped dry.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Shadow on Threehundredeight.com says the Quebec City and Saskatoon announcements are likely to come out together. I think we can call this a bit of triangulation. Somewhere, Dick Morris is beaming!

  7. Tceh says:

    “Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl P

  8. Andrew says:


    As a Quebecker, I can attest for the fact that we’ll take the money and still vote Bloc. This is lose/lose for Harper. Quebeckers are not stupid and they know when they are being bribed. So they will react well to the sweet-talk and courting from the Cons but when it comes time to do the deed they will turn cold and vote Bloc anyway. Bonjour la visite.

    Also, this talk is all for nothing, as there is no way Bettman will bring a team to Quebec. There is absolutely no upside for the NHL to put a team in Quebec. They already watch hockey anyway- so what is the point?

    The teams in the US are not going anywhere so give up already on the idea of moving a team from the South to Canada.

  9. WesternGrit says:

    Harper won’t care about the Western stadiums… Maybe a little lip-service here and there (a million here and a million there – just enough for people to say, “Wow… a million dollars…”.

    Basic reason is that Harper and his party know that they can mindlessly get elected in Alberta, Sask, and rural Manitoba without doing ANYTHING. They don’t care about social safety net/pension/issues… They’ll talk tough talk about the BS about increasing crime, get people all hot and bothered, and walk through another election. When farmers who are starving and going broke finally realize that their real interests lie on the other end of the political spectrum, they may just change their votes – but that may take a few years… (remember the CCF?).

    For now, Harper will take the West for granted. Enjoy, Western brethren!

  10. lr says:

    bringing an NHL team back to Quebec city is a big pipe dream! There’s a reason the Nordiques caved in the 90s – no one wanted to play there!!!

    let Peladeau pay for all of it!

    and let’s get back to real government issues!!!

  11. Cath says:

    I’m surprised that no one here sees this as the best diversion EVER for the Charest Liberals in Quebec and an opportunity for the PM to capitalize on that.
    It’s politics folks.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      With respect, Charest could deliver a thousand stadiums or arenas. Personally, I think dog catcher is aiming too high.

  12. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Funny, eh Warren but when I looked up license and arena in the dictionary all I could find was quid pro quo…

  13. Steve T says:

    Government funding of professional sports should end, at all levels. Period. Either a team is viable, or it isn’t. Pro sports is not an essential service.

    I say this as a Winnipegger who watches with concern the ongoing attempts to bring back the Jets. We already have a decent, viable AHL team (the Manitoba Moose) that is financially sustainable. The NHL, by contrast, has seen salaries grow significantly since the Jets left in the early 90s. So why does anyone on God’s green earth think an NHL team would suddenly be viable here?

    Oh yeah, I forgot – all the various groups with their hands out, hoping for government pork. I rest my case.

    • Namesake says:

      Can’t wait for the Seasons Ticket Holders’ tax credit Stevie offers his Tim-Bits crowd next election, now that the home reno credit’s expired. (Oops, better not give him ideas!)

  14. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Steve T,

    I think in Bettman’s mind it’s not on for either Winnipeg or Quebec City (not to mention Hamilton) and for precisely the reasons you’ve suggested. Viability is key and in my case, call me a skeptic.

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