View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Sports and Politics don’t = Arenas…Always

Cornwall ON – It looks like the Prime Minister has stuffed the genie back into the bottle on the issue of funding for the Quebec arena. His comments last night in Quebec City should dampen expectations considerably.

The question remains why the issue even became public in this manner. Someone, was it the MPs or even PMO communications that miscalculated both the public reaction to funding arenas and the reaction from other municipalities across the country where there are funding issues for sports teams.

I doubt this was a miscalculation on the part of the Prime Minister. As best as I can recall, he has never been an advocate for funding assistance for professional sports teams. This gives some credence to Steven Blaney’s comment that the picture of the Quebec Conservative MPs in Nordiques colours was not vetted with PMO. If correct, then it was a very foolish move on their part. They had better ways to package this initiative and plenty of time to put a solid communications plan into force. Instead they have jumped the gun and it could prove to be a major mistake on their part.

No matter how popular a local issue this might be, the Quebec MPs should have known better than to blindside this Prime Minister and try to use local public opinion to box him into accepting their position. That simply doesn’t work and in the end they will be the losers in the war for his support. It’s always better to do things the right way and get PMO and the PM on side before pursuing any option that involves the use of taxpayer’s dollars, especially in a time of restraint.

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

Moustache JoesElect Gary Samler


  1. But I mean to Harper, whats the cost for an arena compared to 1.3 billion wasted on a G20? Oh yeah, its not necessarily a Conservative riding anyways so they likely wouldn’t have received the funding anyways just based on that fact…

  2. Grimalot, with logic like that, do you manage to sleep at night?

  3. Keith, miscalculation (your word) has become a Harperite hallmark, viz. two prorogations, meddling with the national anthem, G8/G20 boondoggle, Arctic photo-ops,16 billion on unneeded fighter jets, the long-form census etc. etc. These people play fast and loose with the Canadian taxpayer, with the sole object of hanging onto power. As for serving the public interest, forget it. They don’t listen, and they don’t care.

  4. Yes, I sleep very well, however, I wonder how the PM can sleep at night, knowing what he blows our hard earned tax dollars on.. I mean come on, even running an extra sports team, is seriously much cheaper then what our PM has blown our tax dollars on in any case.. and that being said, regardless, why would he blow money on areas that do not support him? just like he has proven with other areas?

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