Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Report gets council's consent

Cigarette warning labels get graphic

Millennium money worries student group

Hockey funds score harsh critique

Mayor gives positive prognosis

Networks gain $13 million from feds

The flu blues


Bass Ackwards

Hockey funds score harsh critique

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

The National Hockey League shot and scored Tuesday, as Minister of Industry John Manley announced Ottawa is willing to help fund any Canadian NHL team.

Manley announced a "shared solution" initiative which would see the federal government assist Canadian NHL teams by providing up to 25 per cent for a pool of funds to help ailing franchises, but only if money was also funded by municipal and provincial governments, as well as team shareholders, said Marie Anne Mathieu, spokesperson for Industry Canada.

The assistance would be available until the next collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players, which is scheduled for 2003-04.

"It is about helping these teams get through a difficult period so that they will be in a position to emerge from their current financial problems as sustainable Canadian NHL franchises," Manley said in his speech.

Steve Keogh, assistant director of communications for the Ottawa Senators, said the plan gives the Senators a level playing field to help combat high tax burdens. "Senators' fans have something to cheer about," he said.

Frank Brown, vice-president of media relations with the NHL, was also quick to point out the benefits he believed hockey teams have on their home cities. "Players pay taxes on their salaries. Workers receive salaries from these clubs. Downtown hotels and stores get money," he said.

Despite Brown's comments, Western economics professor John Palmer, said he disagreed with the funding.

"I don't think it's reasonable to ask taxpayers to subsidize owners who make millions and millions of dollars," he said. "If these franchises are having problems they should move to bigger markets or realize they are in small market cities and take their licks."

Guy Shultz, a marathon runner aspiring to compete in the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics, said he felt the subsidy was needed more for amateur athletes. "Only the Donovan Bailey's of the world get enough sponsorship money to allow them to train full time."

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