Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press The Council of Ministers spoke out in favor of this funding on September 8, 2023, more than two months before it was made public, a state of affairs which is not popular with liberal MP Enrico Ciccone.
The government lacked transparency by delaying the publication of the Council of Ministers' decision authorizing the controversial $5-7 million subsidy intended to host two Los Angeles Kings games in Quebec next year, said Liberal MP Enrico Ciccone on Wednesday.
A decree formalizing this decision was published Wednesday in La Gazette Officiel du Québec, the official journal of Quebec State, which provides access to all laws, regulations, decrees, orders and notices whose dissemination is required.
According to the document, the Council of Ministers supported this financing on September 8, 2023, more than two months before it was made public, a state of affairs which is not popular with Mr. Ciccone. ” I'm not surprised. This is once again a lack of transparency. »
He stressed that based on the date of the decision, the government had plenty of time to realize the incongruity of this subsidy. “What is most unfortunate about all of this is that, again, they had three months to assess the situation. […] They had chances to move back, but then they didn’t. »
The decree published Wednesday specifies that the decision to delay its publication was taken so as not to harm discussions between Quebecor Sports and Entertainment, to which the funds are paid, and the Los Angeles Kings hockey club. “It is in the public interest to defer publication in La Gazette Officiel du Québecof this decree to a date no later than December 15, 2023, in order to allow Quebecor Sports et entertainment inc. to complete the agreement that it is negotiating with the company The Los Angeles Kings Hockey Club LP”, indicates the document.
The decree specifies that the sums will be disbursed in two installments, the first of 2, 5 million during the 2023-2024 fiscal year, and a second of 4.5 million in 2024-2025.
On November 14, Finance Minister Eric Girard announced that the government would offer 5 to 7 million for the organization of two Kings preparatory matches at the Quebec amphitheater in October 2024. Faced with the controversy, Mr. Girard then explained that he thus wanted to promote the Nordiques' chances of returning to the capital . On Tuesday, however, the minister canceled a meeting with the commissioner of the National Hockey League, Gary Bettman, which was part of this strategy.
Solidarity MP Haroun Bouazzi affirmed that this delay in the publication is a lack of judgment. “We notice that the date of September 8, apparently, is to please Quebecor in its various dealings with the Kings,” he said.