Quebec’s Finance Minister defends his decision to spend up to $7 million of taxpayer money to bring the Kings of Los Angeles NHL team to Quebec City next October to two preseason games.

Eric Girard says he made the call because he wants to showcase the city’s publicly funded, NHL-sized arena and show the league how much fans want a professional hockey team in the provincial capital.

Girard is also shedding more light on where his money is going, explaining that the province will pay the travel, lodging and lodging costs for the Kings and the two teams they play: the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers.

The money will also compensate the Bruins and Panthers for the money they will give up by not playing in their home stadiums.

Girard says there was a deal on the table from the Kings and, while he would have liked to pay less, it was “this or nothing.”

Story continues below ad.

The Quebec government has faced strong criticism about the subsidy announced a week ago as citizens struggle with cost of living issues and as Public sector unions are on strike. due to the delay in contractual negotiations.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

18 be