Will Ottawa dip into $1 billion fund to pay for Quebec City arena?

Federal infrastructure fund can’t be used for facilities aimed at professional sports

The Conservatives are considering dipping into $1 billion of unspent money from the 2008 budget’s P3 Canada Fund to help pay for a new hockey arena in Quebec City. The P3 fund, which is allotted to joint projects between the government and private sector, currently forbids spending on “facilities used primarily by professional athletes,” but the Conservatives are looking at ways to bypass the restriction, as it seems to be the only source of federal funding for new stadiums and arenas. Among other projects, Ottawa is taking a close look at Saskatchewan’s request for $100-million from the $1.25-billion fund to build a new stadium that would be home to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but would not be used exclusively for professional sports. Quebecor President Pierre Karl Péladeau has expressed a willingness to invest “tens of millions of dollars” towards a new $400 million arena in Quebec City, which would be home to a new NHL franchise.

The Globe and Mail

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