Volume 93, Issue 64

Tuesday, January 25, 2000


Toronto teacher in court with bribery charge

Gentlemen, start your engines

TA negotiations resume in Toronto

Government withholds refunds from students

Government reserves funding for hockey

Theft highlights slow crime week



Caught on campus

Government reserves funding for hockey

By Heather Buchan
Gazette Staff

The federal government's recent announcement to reverse funding subsidies to Canadian National Hockey League teams has left fans in Ottawa fuming, but many other Canadians pleased.

The initiative would have seen Canadian NHL teams, such as the financially distraught Ottawa Senators, assisted by the federal, provincial and municipal governments, along with team shareholders.

John Palmer, an economics professor at Western, said he was delighted with the decision not to go ahead with the plan. "Why should people in London, Ontario support the Ottawa Senators?" he asked. He added, however, the reversal of the decision would make it difficult for professional sports leagues to receive federal funding in the future.

Palmer expressed his dismay that Members of Parliament were asking common taxpayers to subsidize for-profit operations, which would only benefit the few people directly involved in the sport. He said the only people who are disappointed with the reversal are fans of the Senators, who may now lose their beloved team.

"They made the right decision in the long run," said Bob Vigars, a kinesiology professor and cross country coach at Western. Although he agreed the NHL should not receive government funding, Vigars expressed the need for funding of amateur sports at the university level.

"Amateur sport is in need of funding all over. Amateur sport shouldn't have to line up behind the pros."

Clarke Singer, head coach of Western's hockey team, said although he agreed with the government's decision, there are two sides to the issue. "The other side of the coin is the NHL has been around in Canada since it's inception. It's something that's sort of the life blood of this country. And many people would be really sad to see it go."

Singer added, however, other areas of society, such as the health care system, have to take precedent over NHL teams.

Roger Galloway, Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, said that he was not in favour of the original plan and was glad to see it scrapped. "It was the right thing to do. The government must determine its priorities. A lot of questions need to be asked as far as how this system is working."

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