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Kings subsidy: two Quebec City radio hosts clash
Credit: He enjoyed success with the Kings.
Since yesterday, the Los Angeles Kings have been the talk of Quebec. The reason is quite simple: Phillip Danault and Pierre-Luc Dubois play there , and the club will be spending a week in Quebec City next fall during its training camp, playing two games and holding practices.

This is good news for Quebec City, of course, but many people were quickly disillusioned when they learned that no less than $5 million in public funds had been invested for the occasion. In a context where a large part of the population is having to tighten their belts, and where the current negotiations with the public sector are not going well, this caused quite a stir.

It didn’t help thatwe learned last night that the CH had raised its hand to play in Quebec City for free, even though we later learned that the Habs’ offer would have come after the Kings had initialed their deal with Quebecor.

Since then, the parties involved have been trying to defend the decision. The government defends itself by saying that this is the normal price to pay for such an event, while Quebecor columnists (Jean-Charles Lajoie and Jean-Nicolas Blanchard, for example) have published texts justifying the decision and denouncing “the Habs’ crass hypocrisy”.

Of course, for people far from Quebec City, it’s a little easier to have a hard time digesting the whole thing, given that they won’t get much out of it. NHL games won’t be played in their arenas.

But what about Quebec City? Well, it’s not exactly simple.

Since yesterday, things have been getting a little heated between hosts Jérôme Landry and Stéphan Dupont of FM93 ( Cogeco Media ‘s Quebec City station). In fact, it all started yesterday when Landry welcomed the Kings… and then again defended the decision following the subsidy announcement.

On the other hand, this morning Dupont was on the air and, like the rest of his team, said it was inordinate to pay so much public money to host a team.

And, by the same token, he took the opportunity to take a jab at his colleague:

Jérôme, make amends and then retract your statement. You know what it’s like to play with people’s finances. It’s time to say it. – Stéphan Dupont

But in the afternoon, Landry was back on the air, and rather than retracting his statement as his colleague suggested, he added another layer: he took shots at Dupont, at Martin Leclerc (Radio-Canada) for his piece this morning criticizing the decision, and at Montrealers who also took the liberty of criticizing the decision.

François Cormier, news director of Cogeco Media in Quebec City, added his two cents on social networks.

During Landry’s show, Luc Robitaille came on the air and stated that he thinks the NHL will expand in four or five years.

Is this why Minister Éric Girard will be meeting Gary Bettman later this month?

The important thing to remember from all this, however, is that even in Quebec City, there’s no unanimity. There are those who feel uneasy about the subsidies given the current economic context in Quebec, but there are also those who continue to believe in the Nordiques project and hope that such investments will entice the NHL to come.

And this second clan often has a problem with the Habs, too.

Even in Quebec City, then, the subject seems to divide.

As long as the debate is respectful, that said, it’s not a bad thing. It’s by exchanging ideas that we evolve.

In bursts

– In my opinion, Jérôme Landry won’t be a big fan of this (Montreal) text either.

– I have a feeling that Karl Tremblay, who sadly passed away today, will be honored Friday night. And rightly so.

– I love it.

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– A Carolina blog doesn’t think the Hurricanes would be willing to trade Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas for… Connor McDavid.

– Not to be missed.

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