Ontario government not looking to provide financial bailout for the CFL

Ontario government not looking to provide financial bailout for the CFL

TORONTO — If CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is expecting financial assistance from the Ontario government, it seems he best think again.

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture, said Thursday the provincial government is not focused on contributing financially to the CFL outside of the 2021 Grey Cup.

Ontario is home to three of the CFL’s nine franchises: the Toronto Argonauts; Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks.

“We are looking forward to Hamilton hosting the Grey Cup in 2021,” she said during a teleconference. “As a result we are committed to supporting that financially.

“We’re not focusing our attention on providing additional cash outside of supporting the Grey Cup. Our job right now is to make sure there are health-and-safety protocols in place so they get back to training and conditioning and eventually get back into competition.

“At the same time making sure we have a sustainable sports programs from minor sports right on up to pro sports with elite athletes in between.”

Ambrosie is a co-chair of the Professional Sport Council established by MacLeod.

The CFL has asked the federal government for up to $150 million in financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league is looking for $30 million immediately, additional cash in the event of an abbreviated season and up to $120 million if there’s no 2020 campaign.

The CFL hasn’t given up on staging a 2020 season but has postponed the start of training camps — which were to open this month. It also pushed back the June 11 kickoff of the regular season to early July, at the earliest.

However, many provincial governments have said there will be no sports events with large crowds this summer. Ambrosie himself has suggested a more likely scenario is no play for the league this year.

MacLeod, who admitted to being a Redblacks fan, said, “it would be myopic for the federal government to think a national commission should be funded by the Ontario government.

“We have not been asked as provinces to step in and make that bailout.”

Bob Bratina, a Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stony Creek, suggested Wednesday the CFL should work with its nine member cities and six provinces to combine with Ottawa to find a solution to its issues.

MacLeod did say when she meets with her provincial counterparts, they express their concerns about the CFL.

“I think we’re looking for federal leadership on this matter and I’m happy each week to have a conversation with my federal counterpart,” she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Plans in place for a different kind of graduation this year at Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus

“They deserve to be celebrated for this milestone in their education.”

$2 raise for some health care workers in Alberta over a month late

Delay isn’t from Alberta Health, spokesperson confirms

Thanks to the wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan

Wind warning issued for central Alberta

City of Red Deer and Lacombe under wind warning

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

SpaceX’s historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station

SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked automatically

Ottawa pledges millions to promote holiday travel in Canada during pandemic

Funding announced include $30 million originally earmarked for attracting foreign visitors

Sweats are in, slacks are out: Could ‘work-leisure’ become business as usual?

Many desk-dwellers are opting for sweatpants as work-from-home era has loosened up dress codes

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

Increase is part of the government’s pledge to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage

In hard-hit Quebec, families struggle to mourn those lost to COVID-19

The province recorded more than 50,000 confirmed cases and over 4,300 deaths as of Friday

Most Read