Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Quebec City power play in the works?

Quite the scenario outlined in L. Ian MacDonald's column of yesterday: "One sure way for the Conservatives to score in Quebec." Essentially Harper would open up the federal treasury, as we know he loves to do these days, and send $175 million to Quebec City for the building of an NHL calibre hockey arena there. That would match the provincial commitment and get everyone all excited about the return of an NHL franchise aka the Nordiques. Hockey! The citizens will just nod and blink and go into a voting trance, a "game changer" the Conservatives are fantasizing over, apparently. Here's a swell part of MacDonald's piece, with its totally reasonable view of how certain media would react to such a move:
...for a government that now sits at 144 seats, 11 seats short of a majority in a 308-seat House, it's something to consider. It would virtually assure the Conservatives of retaining all of their nine seats in 418, and make all the others very competitive. The regional media would see to it, primarily Le Soleil and Le Journal de Quebec, not to mention the TVA network and LCN news channel. Those last three media franchises are owned by Quebecor, whose CEO, Pierre-Karl Peladeau, is driving the Nordiques bid, partly as a convergence play.
Ah, PKP, the driving force behind Kory Teneycke's Ottawa Sun TV bid is also "driving the Nordiques bid." Hmmm. So potentially Harper would be sending $175 million Quebec's way to help Peladeau get an NHL franchise. Then the idea is Peladeau would help Harper out with favourable media coverage in an election, as MacDonald so blatantly puts it. Tiny bit of a conflict shaping up here. Throw in the nationwide Peladeau news channel bid that's on the horizon.

And then there's the vice chair that might be hovering in the background of this one.

Yeah, might be a tricky one to pull off for the chess master. But heck, there could be lots of fruitful angles to pursue.