Canadian poll shows support for an NHL team in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG -- Well, duh. A new Angus Reid poll says more Canadians think Winnipeg should get an NHL team before Quebec City. The online survey of 1,009 Canadians found 62 percent of those surveyed believe it's a good idea for Winnipeg to get an NHL...
WINNIPEG -- Well, duh.
A new Angus Reid poll says more Canadians think Winnipeg should get an NHL team before Quebec City.
The online survey of 1,009 Canadians found 62 percent of those surveyed believe it's a good idea for Winnipeg to get an NHL team, while 57 percent said they'd like to see an NHL team playing in Quebec City.
Angus Reid spokesman Mario Canseco said the finding means only one thing:
"The idea of having a team in Winnipeg is more attractive than having a team in Quebec," he said.
The poll also asked respondents if they supported federal funds going toward the relocation of an existing NHL franchise to a Canadian city.
The response varied province to province, with opposition strongest in Alberta (64 percent) and British Columbia (71 percent) but lesser so in Ontario (54 percent), Quebec (51 percent) and Atlantic Canada (51 percent). In Quebec, 44 percent supported federal aid for hockey. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, only 33 percent approved of federal financial aid, while 56 percent opposed it.
Support for federal cash was somewhat split among respondents who described themselves as hockey fans.
For example, 54 percent of "true hockey" fans supported a federal handout, while 40 percent of true fans opposed it.
The notion that Ottawa would use tax dollars to help a city woo an NHL franchise became front-page news two weeks ago. That's when several Conservative Quebec parliament members donned vintage Les Nordiques jerseys in a photo related to the Quebec government unveiling a plan to build a $400 million (Canadian) arena so the provincial capital could attract an NHL team.
The kicker was that the Quebec government wanted Ottawa to chip in $180 million to make it happen.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper later said Ottawa wasn't in the business of supporting pro sports teams, and that the private sector should intervene first.
"If there is to be any role for the federal government, first of all, that role would have to be equitable across the country, treat everybody the same and it also has to be affordable, recognizing that this country is going to be moving into a period of fiscal restraint," Harper recently said in Quebec.
The Angus Reid survey asked only about hockey -- there were no questions about football stadiums.
Canseco added the survey also shows that many Canadians are in tune with pro hockey. He said that reflects a healthy economy because Canadians are talking about the NHL returning to Canada.
Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted the online survey Sept. 17-19 of 1,009 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.
Winnipeg Free Press stories appear in the Herald through special arrangement.
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