With an election "in the realm of possibility", it's time to begin rallying the troops, Liberal MP Bob Rae said Friday night at a fundraising dinner in Montreal's east end.

"Whether it comes this fall or whether it comes next year, we've certainly got to be ready for it," said Rae, MP for Toronto-Centre.

About 150 people attended the gathering at a restaurant in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

Rae said it's been a busy summer for Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal party.

"We've certainly got to get organized, we've got to get our troops worked up."

Rae also said the Tories should be cautious in considering requests to devote millions of dollars in federal funding to a new hockey arena in Quebec City.

"Mr. Harper's got to understand that this is not just a one off thing that one can do for one city or one franchise. If you're going to have a policy, it's got to be a consistent policy right across the country," Rae said.

The mayor of Quebec City is asking Ottawa to invest roughly $175 million in the new arena.