Quebec Premier Jean Charest warned hockey fans in the province that a Parti Quebecois government could hurt the chances of one day bringing the Nordiques back to the National Hockey League.
Charest, who is currently running for re-election, suggested at a press conference Sunday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would be less likely to put a team back in Quebec City with the sovereigntist party in power.
“If I put myself in Mr. Bettman’s place, a city where there’s full employment means there will be people who will go watch hockey and have the money to go watch hockey,” Charest said. “Then there’s the other choice, with five years of economic disruption. Between the two, the choice is pretty clear.”
There are announced plans to build a $400-million arena in the hopes of luring back an NHL team and Charest’s Liberal government and Quebec City have pledged millions in taxpayer money for the project.
Quebec City has not had an NHL franchise since the Nordiques relocated to Colorado in 1995.
The 54-year-old Charet has been the 29th Premier of Quebec since 2003.
– With files from The Canadian Press