HON. JOHN MANLEY
Dear Mr. Bristow:
Thank you for your electronic mail message of February 2, 2000, regarding. the development of the Rideau Veteran lands and the financial challenges confronting Canada's National Hockey League (NHL) franchises. 1 regret the delay in responding to you.
1 have noted your comments regarding the development of land on Smyth Road by the Canada Lands Company. The mandate of the Canada Lands Company is to seek out innovative solutions for and proper development of, lands that are no longer needed by the federal government.
Public consultation is an important aspect of ensuring that the concerns of the community are addressed. As you may be aware, the Faircrest Heights Community Association has participated in this process. Several of the concerns raised by the Association were addressed by the Canada Lands Company. If you would like more information or would like to discuss this proposal at greater length, please call Paul Page, Director of Real Estate at the Canada Lands Company. His phone number is (613) 946-7773.
Regarding, the financial challenges confronting Canada's National Hockey League (NHL) teams, 1 agreed, on behalf of the federal government, to look at possible options for finding. a shared solution to the financial problems of Canadian NHL teams at the request of concerned municipalities, and because 1 believed the matter was important to many Canadians.
From the outset, my Cabinet colleagues and 1 recognized that the views of Canadians were divided on this matter. We stated from the beginning that any federal assistance would require the participation of the relevant provincial and municipal Governments.
Simply put, the required participation of the provinces and the municipalities was not there - as was clear from the public statements made by the Premier of Ontario, Alberta's Treasurer, British Columbia's Minister of Finance, and Quebec's Minister of Municipal Affairs. Equally important, it was clear that the public was not prepared to support assistance to hockey teams in Canada. In light of the lack of provincial and municipal support for a solution and broad public dissatisfaction, it made no sense to pursue the issue any further. Accordingly, on January 21, 2000, 1 announced that the federal government's proposal for a shared solution was dead. A copy of the statement announcing this decision is enclosed for your information.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, 1 tried to address the concerns expressed by NHL fans and municipal leaders from across Canada with respect to the potential loss of their teams. In doing so, I also tried to build public consensus among, the provinces and the municipalities in which the NBL teams reside, to find a shared solution that represented the views of Canadians. The necessary consensus did not emerge and 1 responded accordingly.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to write me on these important issues.
Yours very truly