Friday, September 10, 2010

Monthly Averages: August

Time to look at August's polling. Ten national polls were released during this month (four more than last month), totaling about 19,290 interviews. Here are the results we get at the national level, with the difference from last month's average in brackets.

Conservatives - 32.8% (-0.8)
Liberals - 28.5% (+0.8)
New Democrats - 16.4% (-0.6)
Greens - 10.5% (+0.6)
Bloc Québécois - 9.7% (-0.3)
Others - 2.1% (+0.3)

This Conservative drop is almost equal to the 0.9 points the party gained in July. The Liberals, however, are up 1.3 points in the last two months. For their part, the NDP is down a full point. The Green gain comes after dropping 0.9 points in July.The seat projection for these results is as follows, with the difference from last month in brackets:

Conservatives - 125 (-3)
Liberals - 101 (+6)
Bloc Québécois - 52 (unchanged)
New Democrats - 30 (-3)
Greens - 0 (unchanged)

The Conservatives drop, while the Liberals have gained 10 seats in the last two months. The Bloc is steady while the NDP has dropped five seats in two months.

The regional results, with difference from last month in brackets:

BRITISH COLUMBIA (10 polls - about 1,950 people)

Conservatives - 36.4% (+1.9)
New Democrats - 24.4% (-3.3)
Liberals - 23.5% (+1.1)
Greens - 13.6% (+1.3)

The Conservatives make a big gain after a tepid July. The Liberals have gained 2.9 points over the last two months, and with a big loss they are close to over-taking the NDP for second in the province. The Greens are up, but lost more than twice the amount in July.

ALBERTA (10 polls - about 1,730 people)

Conservatives - 58.2% (-1.0)
Liberals - 18.0% (-1.2)
Greens - 11.3% (+1.9)
New Democrats - 9.5% (-0.3)

The Conservatives take a little step back, at our still doing fine. The Liberals have lost the gains that they made in July. The NDP is done again, moving further away from re-electing their MP in Edmonton-Strathcona.

PRAIRIES (10 polls - about 1,190 people)

Conservatives - 45.8% (unchanged)
Liberals - 24.0% (+2.3)
New Democrats - 22.0% (+1.1)
Greens - 6.4% (-3.9)

The Conservatives hold steady, while the Liberals have gained more than three points in the last two months. The NDP is also up, while the Greens are way down.

The Conservatives take 67 in the West (up one from June), while the Liberals win 18 in the West and North (up three) and the NDP wins 10 (down four).

ONTARIO (10 polls - about 6,890 people)

Conservatives - 35.2% (-0.4)
Liberals - 34.8% (+1.0)
New Democrats - 17.2% (-0.6)
Greens - 11.0% (+0.4)

The Conservatives drop as much as they gained in July, while the Liberals gain as much as they dropped last month. The result is close race. The NDP also have the same thing happen to them, with a loss equal to July's gain.

The Conservatives win 46 seats (down one), the Liberals win 45 (up one), and the NDP wins 15 (unchanged).

QUEBEC (10 polls - about 5,450 people)

Bloc Québécois - 39.0% (-1.2)
Liberals - 23.5% (+1.1)
Conservatives - 15.0% (-1.2)
New Democrats - 11.6% (-0.6)
Greens - 9.3% (+2.1)

The Bloc is down, for the second straight month. The Liberals make another modest gain, and are now up two points over the last two months. The Conservatives are down to a dangerous level, while the NDP is down again this month.

The Bloc takes 52 seats (unchanged), the Liberals take 16 (up one), the Conservatives take 5 (down one) and the NDP win 2 (unchanged).

ATLANTIC CANADA (10 polls - about 1,290 people)

Liberals - 41.9% (+2.2)
Conservatives - 27.3% (-4.7)
New Democrats - 19.7% (+1.4)
Greens - 8.1% (-0.2)

The Liberals are up, marking 7.5 points in the last two months. The Conservatives have really dropped in Atlantic Canada, and are down 8.1 points in the last two months. It's hard to call that a polling fluke. The NDP makes a small gain, but are way below where they need to be.

The Liberals win 22 seats (up one), the Conservatives win 7 (down two), and the NDP wins 3 (up one).The party that performed worst this month is the Conservative Party. Their net loss (total gains/losses in all six regions) was 5.4 points. Their loss in Atlantic Canada was huge, and they are also down significantly in Quebec and Alberta. Their drop in Ontario is troublesome as the Liberals are on the upswing, while a gain in British Columbia is the only silver lining this month.

Next worst was the NDP, with a net loss of 2.3 points. They did make gains in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, too traditionally favourable regions the party needs to do better in, but the losses in Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, and especially British Columbia hurt them. They're down three seats, which is big for a party with a small caucus.

The middle spot goes to the Bloc Québécois. They dropped 1.2 points in Quebec but did not lose any seats. They still hold a significant lead over the Liberals, but any higher and the Liberals will start to eat into the Bloc's seats.

Silver goes to the Greens, who had a net gain of 1.6 points. The two province they have a chance of electing an MP in, Ontario and British Columbia, saw modest gains, so that is good news.

August's winner is the Liberal Party, with a net gain of 6.5 points. They were up big in Atlantic Canada and the Prairies, and made significant gains in Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. All good news. Their only loss was in Alberta, where they don't have much of a chance of winning a seat anyway.

The summer has been good for the Liberals, who have gained 10 seats and 1.3 points in July and August. It has been bad for the Conservatives, who now can be outvoted by the combined total of the Liberals and New Democrats. It sets up an important fall season.

51 comments:

  1. It's only going to get worse for them if they push forward to fund these stadiums.

    Mark my words, this is a very bad idea.

    Learn from the American experience with taxpayer funded baseball parks.

    It will be no different with hockey.

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  2. Great work Eric.interesting to see the smoothing out of the recent swings in the polls. It does confirm the resurgence of the libs.They are taking votes from both NDP and cons. Maybe opposition
    To the cons is coalescing around them. I'm surprised the NDP is not on top in BC considering their provi ncial popularity, although they are doing better in Sask/Man. Bad news for the tories is the high green polls-they will bleed to the libs or NDP depending on the candidates electability. The Harper party has nowhere to grow.

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  3. Yeah I think this arena/stadium thing is going to go over badly. Bernier has already come out against it and it will be interesting to see if any other Conservatives break party ranks on it. The National Post even even has 3 or 4 articles bashing the idea. I love the heading "An arena in every pot".

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  4. It's almost like Harper is intentionally setting up Maxime Bernier as the next leader.

    I love Maxime Bernier, so that would be great, but somehow I don't see Harper being that magnanimous.

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  5. AJR79,

    It seems we are as one on this.

    As you said, Quebecers will vote Bloc in the soon to be "former" Conservative ridings.

    I expect this Prime Minister will make the announcement on Monday in Quebec City.

    The CPC base must be -- I don't want to exaggerate so I'll only say L-I-V-I-D...

    Picture it: Wild Rose, Ottawa. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it -- Danielle Smith, Leader of the Official Opposition.

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  6. Ira,

    "It's almost like Harper is intentionally setting up Maxime Bernier as the next leader.

    I love Maxime Bernier, so that would be great, but somehow I don't see Harper being that magnanimous."

    Perhaps in his NEXT life, Ira!!!

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  7. Just remember Iggy's sage words, do not underestimate the Emperor, I mean the CPC.

    I'm sure the Ruthless Party, with the most powerful party machine this country has ever seen, has many tricks up its sleeve. They will likely compromise on a couple of issues to try and regain the centre with a veneer of reasonableness.

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  8. Though the increased seat count for the LPC seems like a good thing, it doesn't actually change the situation in Parliament a whole lot.

    With 125 seats for the Cons, all they need still is one of the Opposition parties to get a majority vote. Meanwhile, at 102 seats, the Liberals still need the co-operation of both the NDP and and the Bloc in order to get a majority vote, as 101+30 = 131, and 101+52 = 153 - both not enough to defeat the Conservatives if one of the other parties side with them.

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  9. Eric

    What would happen if we projected these shifts forward in time. Say to Feb next year.

    Where would the parties be then?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Let's say the "trend lines" remain constant.

    Then what would it look like com Feb??

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  11. he means take the short term movement over the last 30 days in the summer without people paying attention, with parliament out of session, with manufactured issues by the media so they have something to talk about in absence of a parliament in session..... .....and assume that the same movement will continue over the next 150 days or so as it did over the last 30.




    "Picture it: Wild Rose, Ottawa. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it -- Danielle Smith, Leader of the Official Opposition."

    Yup... I think I can... Reform party? and 4 subsequent elections given to the Liberals. While it might happen if Harper continues to govern without regard for his base's principles,.... it is going to take alot,... and I mean alot for the base to want to split the right up again and repeat the wilderness years in order to bring the party back to core principles.


    The stadium(s) are one example of a push to the center from more conservative fiscal management. I still don't know if one or more of them will happen. Remember all we have seen is (most) of the Quebec caucus lobbying for it....

    The party itself hasn't come out with an opinion, despite many in the media deciding it has one already.... call it a trial balloon if you want, but I haven't seen any party with a clear position on government money in arena's.

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  12. That's a pretty easy calculation to make.

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  13. Barcs,

    With respect, Boucher organized the whole thing -- ordered the jerseys and she is a former francophone parliamentary secretary to the PM. How much more proof do you need?

    You know how they practically don't go to the can without checking with the PMO first. This is a no-brainer -- it's a definite and the PM will announce it himself in Quebec City.

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  14. Peter,

    That's just Max looking for his latest doghouse...

    No one else (MP or Senator) will come out against a Quebec City arena.

    That is, unless they are prepared to live dangerously!

    ReplyDelete
  15. "Caucus Revolt ??"

    A caucus revolt? over an announcement that hasn't happened? That the only proof is rumor and innuendo so that the media have something to talk about? (to be fair Ronald did find some circumstantial too).

    If it is announced... then it is a news story.... If it is ever announced.



    "You know how they practically don't go to the can without checking with the PMO first."

    You've been watching the CBC/star/G&M propaganda story li(n)es too long. A little balanced reporting, possibly a new news organization that operates with a few facts would be of benefit to Canadians.

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  16. Oh, come now Barcs. This "caucus revolt" story sounds just like those "unnamed Liberal sources" stories. It is rare for the media to take this tact with the Conservative Party, so I wouldn't play the victim just yet.

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  17. Hey the Quebec arena is an issue that the Liberals and Bloc both support whole-hardily.

    Ralph Goodale is on record as saying that Regina deserves more than the 80-100M it has budgeted from the fed for their new indoor football stadium.

    The openness of the Conservatives on this issue is very refreshing. He is a voice of reason that we have come to expect from the Conservative Party.

    If you read Bernier's take on the issue it makes sense.

    Quebec (Charest) has committed just under half of the arena cost to be be paid by the province (out of the transfer payment surplus?) If the best value that the province sees for the money is building arenas it must mean that the social housing, day care, highways and bridges, health system are all okay.

    The federal government standardly matches provincial funding. The province sets the priorities.

    Bernier is saying that Charest has his priorities mixed up.

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  18. simple question to Ignatieff:

    Do you support federal funding of Arenas in Quebec, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Halifax, Ottawa, Moncton and (fill in the blanks)?

    oops.... that moves the issue to a Conservative plus or at minimal neutral.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "possibly a new news organization that operates with a few facts would be of benefit to Canadians. "

    What you really means is as FEW FACTS as possible and maximum SPIN and TALKING POINTS, isn't it?

    Just like Faux News in the USA>

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  20. ... sorry eric.

    But given the coverage tories receive at the hands of the "fair and balanced media" (most recently gun control and census.. but going back to controversy manufacturing like wafers and Gergis) ..... I am not real surprised there would be very few stories with "unnamed conservative sources"


    Secondly. "caucus revolt" wasn't in the story (that you apparently didn't read). It said Bernier joined together with several other MP's to disagree with the possibility of paying for arenas. "Caucus revolt" was just Peter spinning, lying and obfuscating like he accuses others of all the time.

    Calling him on it was more the focus of the post than an innocuous article about a few people opposing (publicly,.. not unnamed sources) a (non) announcement that may or may not happen.

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  21. Eric I agree with Barcs, this is very poor reporting by the CBC.

    When did Harper "pledge" to fund arenas ?? He said he'd take a look at the proposal.

    Usually you need to have arrived at a position before people "revolt" against it.

    No decision has been made.


    Even Quebec City MPs like JP Blackburn aren't sold on the deal. He's calling for a private sector partner to step in.

    The only fund that exists to pay for this arena is a 2.2 billion dollar joint infrastructure fund that REQUIRES a private partner as a funding criteria.

    Funding this as a one off special deal would open a huge can of worms.


    I just don't see this deal going ahead as is. I don't think it ever was going to either.

    Thumbs down to this story.

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  22. Barcs,

    "A little balanced reporting, possibly a new news organization that operates with a few facts would be of benefit to Canadians."

    I'll bet! Péladeau knows it's in the bag. Either it comes into being under the modified option courtesy of the CRTC -- or failing that, cabinet will push it through.

    POX North should be on the air a lot quicker than some people think.

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  23. Barcs, I wasn't referring to that particular article but to the story in general (where the term "caucus revolt" has been used).

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ron i'm thinking that maybe right before Christmas something happens ?

    Perhaps the government over rules the CRTC and gives SunTV a cat 1 mandatory carry worth 40 million or so.

    Then Quebecor, Videotron, or whatever name they like steps up and contributes 40 million to the arena for naming rights.

    BAM!

    Government quietly pays out a reduce 160 million to fund the arena.

    The stickershock is dramatically reduced, nobody out west pays attention, and Quebec City MPS do loads of local media to keep their seats.


    Certainly how i'd handle it.

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  25. k, I can understand that Eric :)



    Question for fiscal conservatives put off by spending.

    Would you like to instead vote for Goodale who wants to fun more arenas (like Saskatchewan's)

    How about Bob Rae, who supports more funding, but only if more funding is sent to other arenas.

    It's really too bad that the tories are running against those that oppose them, and not the mythical perfect government people hold them up to being.

    But as that goes... as much as I dislike the tories for becoming too liberal. I have to remember that the other guys would not only spend as much as they are,... but more.

    So, how do I send a message to the tories without putting in place the worse option?



    Peter...

    "What you really means is as FEW FACTS as possible and maximum SPIN and TALKING POINTS, isn't it?
    Just like Faux News in the USA>"


    Please point out to me the facts in your post there... ..... ....

    ....

    ReplyDelete
  26. While $140 million is certainly less than $180 million, it is still $140 million. I don't think that will help anything, particularly the government stepping in to get its way and help out a friend. The West will notice the $140 million, everyone else will notice the patronage.

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  27. Shadow,

    "Perhaps the government over rules the CRTC and gives SunTV a cat 1 mandatory carry worth 40 million or so.

    Then Quebecor, Videotron, or whatever name they like steps up and contributes 40 million to the arena for naming rights.

    BAM!

    Government quietly pays out a reduce 160 million to fund the arena.

    The stickershock is dramatically reduced, nobody out west pays attention, and Quebec City MPS do loads of local media to keep their seats."

    Have you been reading my comments again on Warren's blog? Naughty, naughty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Éric,

    Agreed. Those seats around Quebec City will be going Bloc. The arena won't stem the anti-Harper tide in Quebec -- except perhaps on the margins.

    Gourde should be safe. Maybe Josée. As for the other three in Quebec City, might as well get an early start on their résumés...

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  29. Barcs,

    In answer to your question, I don't think there is very much room between Harper, and Goodales positions on arena funding.

    As for how you could send a message, I'd say not donating time or money to the party is a good start. It'd send an even stronger message if blue voters sat on their hands next election.

    A majority is not in the cards with our current leadership. We need to regroup and charge the centre the right way... With fiscal prudence and socially libertarian values.

    The fact that Mr.Harper even thinks that this is the correct way to appeal to the centre should say it all.

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  30. "As for how you could send a message, I'd say not donating time or money to the party is a good start. It'd send an even stronger message if blue voters sat on their hands next election."

    Yes, either would send a message. But it would also replace a poor government with a worse one. So it doesn't really pass that caveat :/

    I suppose it might create better results long term. But it would also blow things up short term. And it would hurt the long game as much as it might help it. (appointments and such)

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  31. "The fact that Mr.Harper even thinks that this is the correct way to appeal to the centre should say it all."

    It does seem to work for the other leaders....

    center?? Mushy middle

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  32. AJR79 you'll be sitting on the sidelines waiting forever if you insist a party must be PERFECT as opposed to just better than the alternatives.

    Withdrawing support, time, or money is silly and counter productive. In fact i'd recomend the opposite. Get MORE engaged and make your voice heard within the party.

    Working within the confines of a viable party is the only way to effect change.

    Call into a radio show, write a letter to your MP, post a comment on a blog (as Peter will tell you they check the comments) - these are good ways to make your voice heard.


    Unless you want to be the right wing equivalent to a Green party supporter. Or even more laughable, people still voting Communist!

    Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good reeks of arrogant small minded youthful fanatacism (or what the romantics call idealism).

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  33. Shadow,

    The government has decided against social libertarian policy with their crime agenda.

    There seems precious little I can do to disuade them from this course.

    The fiscal prudence is out the window also. What's left for me to vote for.

    Voting against the Liberals is all well and good, but I want a shake up in the CPC as soon as possible.

    BTW If I had my choice, Dimitri would've been shown the door before Guy.

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  34. Harper doesn't believe there is a centre. Harper believes every Canadian is fundamentally self-interested, and will support those policies that serve his interests.

    As such, there are a hardful of demographic groups that the CPC has completely written off and doesn't even try to appeal to (single women in urban areas, for example), but with everyone else it's targetted programs and directed spending with specific announcements designed to make some small segment of the voting public like them.

    It seems overly complicated to me - I'd almost rather they just lied to people and got elected the old-fashioned way. It would probably be cheaper.

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  35. “Canadians are being forced to subsidize millionaire hockey team owners and that’s a misconduct."
    -Stephen Harper, 2000

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  36. AJR79,

    "BTW If I had my choice, Dimitri would've been shown the door before Guy."

    How can this Prime Minister even contemplate doing that? After the Quebec brainpower (such as it is) in the PMO and that party has been so hollowed out, Harper has no alternative but to keep Dimitri. He's all the PM has left. Without him, Harper is completely lost -- after all, we've seen what a "great" Quebec strategist this Prime Minister is when he opens his mouth on Quebec issues. More of that KIND of strategy and 11 MPs will be out of a job...

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  37. AJR79: We need to regroup and charge the centre the right way... With fiscal prudence and socially libertarian values.

    Might I suggest the Green Party? Fully-costed, balanced-budget platform: check. Long-time support for individual freedoms (the poster child being marijuana legalization): check.

    It takes a certain farsightedness to be Green but Greens are being elected from the UK to Australia. The only question here is when.

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  38. Ron turns out you were wrong.

    The PM wasn't told ahead of time about the Nordiques jersey stunt:

    http://www.ottawasun.com/news/canada/2010/09/13/15328591.html


    So all this endless media speculation about Harper taking a position, about rifts in the party, about a plan to buy off a majority was all MADE UP.

    By who ?

    An over active media. Wow.

    So Harper had nothing to do with this, has said nothing about this, other than he'll look at the proposal.

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  39. It's certainly a good spin on the issue. But Blaney's little better than Poilievre on the reliability front.

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  40. Eric that doesn't make sense.

    Why would Blaney undermine his own position in favour of the arena by making it easier for the PM to back away from the funding issue ?

    I think the most obvious answer is the right one.

    The Quebec City MPs, organized by the somewhat kooky Boucher, totally jumped the gun on this one. The mayor and or Charest might have put them up to it as well.

    I say this for 2 reasons:

    1) The PMO doesn't do photo ops BEFORE making a funding announcement. They are usually only done after funding is locked down.

    2) If this was a trial balloon, as some have suggested, a simple press release saying that the government was studying the issue would have sufficed.

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  41. In his August 19, 2010 column in The Globe and Mail, Lawrence Martin claimed, citing "insiders", that CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein was under pressure from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to resign from the commission and and take another government position, such as an ambassadorship, in order to facilitate Sun News getting its desired licence.[12] In a letter to The Globe and Mail, Von Finckenstein "categorically" denied any government interference regarding Sun News or his tenure as CRTC chair.[13]

    An online petition titled "Stop Fox News North" was established on Avaaz.org, claiming that the channel would be "funded with money from our cable TV fees" (in contradiction to the "mandatory access" request in Quebecor's 2nd CRTC application), and citing Martin's column as evidence that von Finckenstein was the "one man" standing in the way of Sun News getting a preferential licence.[14] The petition gained publicity when Margaret Atwood announced on Twitter that she put her name to it, doing so not as a criticism of Sun News' possible rightward agenda but as a response against Harper's style of government, specifically perceived attempts by Harper to expedite Sun News' licence approval. Quebecor immediately dismissed the petition, alleging Avaaz to be an "American special interest group funded by U.S. billionaire George Soros"[15] (Avaaz has staff in a number of countries including Canada, but was co-founded by MoveOn.org,[16] a U.S.-based political advocacy group to which Soros has contributed in the past;[17] it is not clear, however, whether Soros has ever provided any significant direct funding to Avaaz.)

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  42. Additionally, Sun News supporters, including two star employees of the network, fired back after Atwood's tweet: Sun News Ottawa bureau chief David Akin, in a Twitter Tweet of his own, accused Atwood of attempting to squelch Quebecor's free speech rights by signing the petition;[18] Quebecor VP of development Kory Teneycke, the head of the network, blasted both Avaaz and Atwood (accusing the latter in an opinion piece that ran in Quebecor-owned newspapers of "[putting] her political agenda ahead of principles and patriotism"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_TV_News_Channel

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  43. Shadow,

    I'm inclined to give Blaney the benefit of the doubt...but like others, I would be far more reassured that this is accurate if I heard those words out of the Prime Minister's own mouth.

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  44. "I'm inclined to give Blaney the benefit of the doubt...but like others, I would be far more reassured that this is accurate if I heard those words out of the Prime Minister's own mouth."


    Ron.... I thought it was a done deal "because no MP's ever go potty without asking the PM first"

    So why do you need a definitive answer from the PM on whether or not he knew about it to confirm the story..... but not a definitive set of words out of his mouth to run around touting the story that the Quebec arena is a done deal???

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  45. shadow ~ the notion that anyone is gonna pay 40million for the naming rights of a small market NHL hockey rink is totally ridiculous... the average price paid in north America for stadium naming rights is $2.1 million....the last thing quebeckers need is a money pit to throw tax dollars into... aren't they still paying off the big o? ...and yeah the olympics are really fun and cynical as I am I had a blast this past winter in vancouver during the games, however the financial toll this took which resulted in an ill advised hst, large municipal and provincial debt loads it's just not worth it... for a sober man Stephen Harper has sure been acting like he has had to much to drink while on the job.... he should take notice of how hugely unpopular Gary Bettman is in this country and remove himself from his bed or suffer the consequences(which of course I hope he doesn't do because the more he shoots himself in the foot with garbage decision making, the sooner we will be rid of him...)

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  46. Kevin Michael its Péladeau who wants to personally own the hockey club.

    He has a controlling stake in Quebecor. I'm sure he could convince the board to buy into the project.

    Not just naming rights but a percentage of the ownership of the stadium.

    Usually these P3s are structured in a way that the private stakeholder gets a revenue stream but a reduced exposure to risk.


    Its still not a good investment for Quebecor but he's president and he calls the shots.

    If he wants this arena he should put some skin in the game.


    As for the Olympics it didn't actually end up costing a whole heck of a lot for Vancouver.

    The big price tag is infrastructure that would have happened anyways like the Canada Line and the Sea to Sky highway reno.

    But Quebec's construction sector has a 30% mob mark up.

    And their public sector is far, far less efficient.

    So honestly I think it would probably end up being a big costly disaster if Quebec tried to put on an Olympics.

    But 2022 ? No way Harper is still PM by then.

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  47. Barcs,

    If you're going to take me to the woodshed at least work with my quotes:

    "With respect, Boucher organized the whole thing -- ordered the jerseys and she is a former francophone parliamentary secretary to the PM. How much more proof do you need?

    You know how they practically don't go to the can without checking with the PMO first. This is a no-brainer -- it's a definite and the PM will announce it himself in Quebec City."

    Just call it the "definite" that wasn't. Now to your question: my definite was speculation on my part. It appears to have been dead wrong. Blaney says this Prime Minister knew nothing about the sweaters ahead of time. So far so good. I can accept that but would prefer to hear the PM tell it like it is both on the sweaters and whether Ottawa will fund an arena. It's simply a matter of clarification with Harper being the most reliable source for that clarification. That does not mean anyone else is lying. In other words, when you want to know what happened and why, you go to the source and in my mind that's Stephen Harper.

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  48. don't forget the billion dollar Olympic village investment that the city of Vancouver is now on the hook for(with sixty% of the units unsold - and sitting empty - and owned by the city)
    also as nice as it is that we can now drive a 4 lane highway to whistler / take the skytrain to the airport, these were not just ordinary infrastructure projects that would have happened anyway.... we are all paying the tab for them everytime we have to pay hst on an item that was previously pst exempt(restaurant bills etc) ...this entire idea has a funny smell to it and reeks of the type of patronage and closed door dealings that Harper promised to eliminate from federal politics... I would love another NHL in Canada but definately not on these terms...

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  49. kevin michael,

    The Big OWE was paid off in 2006:

    CBC News

    Montreal's Olympic Stadium needs a new nickname — the Big Owe no longer applies because Quebecers have finally paid off their $1.5-billion debt from the 1976 Summer Games.

    Officials from the Olympic Installations Board, which oversees the stadium, have confirmed that the last payment was made in mid-November, three decades after the world descended on Montreal for the Games.

    The astronomical cost included the stadium, the Olympic village, a post-modern apartment building complex, a sports recreation complex, outdoor facilities, parking and the Vélodrome, which has since been refurbished as the Biodome.

    Much of the debt was serviced through a special tax on tobacco.

    Officials had estimated the debt would be cleared by September 2006, but the smoking ban introduced in May slowed down tobacco sales in the province, according to the Canadian Press.

    The stadium and related Olympic facilities cost $1.5 billion.

    Quebec's chief accounting officer now needs to issue an official statement to formally clear the debt, said Jacques Delorme, a spokesman for the province's Finance Ministry.

    "It's like if you bought a house: once you reach the deadline, you expect that your mortgage has been paid. But still, to be sure that your mortgage has really been paid, you have to wait for the bank to send you a final statement to say everything's OK. It's the same process here."

    The longtime home of the Montreal Expos until the Major League Baseball team was sold to Washington, D.C., the 58,500-seat stadium was nicknamed the Big O, or, because of its cost, the Big Owe.

    After clinching the 1976 Olympics, the mayor of Montreal at the time, Jean Drapeau, boasted the Games would be the first auto-financed Olympics.

    "The Montreal Olympics can no more have a deficit, than a man can have a baby," he said, a prediction that would haunt him, as construction costs ballooned and sent the final price tag into the stratosphere.

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