Postscript: A deal which is clearly offside
By Barry Wilson, CTV Montreal Executive Producer
Published Friday, May 27, 2011 11:06AM EDT
MONTREAL - I am happy for the folks in Winnipeg. The NHL will return to Manitoba.
But what is going on in Quebec City staggers the imagination.
Quebec's mayor Regis Labeaume made an arena deal with Quebecor. The firm will get management and naming rights for 25 years.
The backroom deal was made without a call for public tenders.
Now his egomaniacal worship wants the National Assembly to pass a special law protecting it from any legal challenge – while a former city manager wants to take the deal to court.
This is more about politics than hockey; more about votes than goals.
The Parti Quebecois wants the National Assembly to pass what is essentially an undemocratic bill.
There is so much wrong with this. Court challenges are a fundamental right in our society.
The Liberals aren't clean either, with the untendered contract they handed out last year for overpriced metro cars, but if I were a decision maker in the NHL I would look at Quebec City's little drama and think twice.
Why does everything have to be so difficult in this province sometimes?
The continual search for a scapegoat
What is happening along the Richelieu River is clearly a natural disaster, but now the guilty parties appear to be blaming Premier Jean Charest and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
People are quick to issue blame as if Ottawa and Quebec City could control nature, and Opposition Leader Pauline Marois is out to make cheap politics out of this.
Maybe the army could have been called in a day or two earlier, but would it have made a huge difference?
At first, it looked like normal spring flooding.
The army is doing its best and the soldiers should stay as long as necessary. Clearly people are doing their best in a very difficult situation.
When Mother Nature unleashes her fury, politics and second guessing can wait.
Wasting public money
Finally this week, more nonsense from the people we entrust with our money.
The ruler of Laval, mayor Gilles Vaillancourt wants five new metro stations.
The first three cost about $700 million.
Tell you what, when that metro starts inching west, maybe we could consider more stops for Laval, but don't hold your breath because on this farm, some animals are more equal than others.
And in the Old Port, why do we need a beach where you can't swim?
The Old Port Corporation wants to spend $3 million to construct a beach next year, and they will charge you $7 to get in.
Swimming will not be allowed; they say the currents are too strong.
How about they find a better place instead?
A beach where you can't swim is not really a beach. It's a sandbox.