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PARIZEAU SAYS "NON" TO TAXPAYER BAILOUT OF NORDS; REFERENDUM
Published April 7, 1995
Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau yesterday said he would not support a taxpayer-funded bailout of the Nordiques. Parizeau told the Quebec National Assembly that he would like to keep the team in the province's capital city, "but has no intentions of handing out millions of taxpayers' dollars." Parizeau: "The hockey industry, if I can call it that, has been terribly managed over the last few years. Players salary increases, along with other expenses are so rampant that for seven or eight teams, and maybe as many as 10 or 12, you have to wonder what their chances are of succeeding in relatively small markets" (Rheal Seguin, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/7). Nordiques Owner Marcel Aubut wants government help to finance a new C$125M arena and to pay the team's annual deficits (estimated at C$10M this year) until the facility is completed. Aubut has given the government a May deadline. Parizeau says he will announce his government intentions within a month, with a lottery as a possible revenue- maker. Parizeau, interviewed on a pre-game hockey talk show, said the government "would consider pumping some money into the team if private interests were also investing" (Andy Riga, Montreal GAZETTE, 4/7). VOTE DELAYED: Parizeau has confirmed that he will not put Quebec separation on the ballot this spring. Support for separation from Canada "seldom tops" 45% in polls (Charles Trueheart, WASHINGTON POST, 4/7). Many believe a vote for secession could damage both the bid for a new arena and Quebec City's chances for landing the 2002 Games.