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Kings in Quebec City: parts of the deal revealed in parliamentary commission

Los Angeles Kings president Luc Robitaille, centre, smiles at a news conference, Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City. The Los Angeles Kings will hold the final leg of their training camp at the Videotron Centre in Québec City from October 2 to 6, 2024, with two games against the Boston Bruins on October 3 and the Florida Panthers on October 5. From the left, Martin Tremblay, COO of Quebecor's Sports and Entertainment Group and president of Gestev, Luc Robitaille, Quebec Finance Minister Eric Girard and Quebec Minister Responsible for Infrastructure Jonathan Julien. Los Angeles Kings president Luc Robitaille, centre, smiles at a news conference - THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
QUEBEC CITY - The Quebec government will not have to cover the cost of meals and alcohol for Los Angeles Kings players coming to Quebec City for two exhibition games this fall.

The information, which was not previously known, was disclosed on Tuesday during the study of the budgetary appropriations of the Conseil du trésor, Capitale-Nationale section.

Official Opposition Leader Marc Tanguay asked that the $5 to $7 million agreement signed on Sept. 9, 2023 between the Quebec government, Quebecor and the Kings for the team's visit to the Centre Vidéotron be unraveled.

Youri Rousseau, Associate Secretary for the Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale, finally revealed that the agreement does not include reimbursement of players' personal expenses, such as meals and alcohol.

Tanguay was pleased that the government was "pulling back the curtains," pointing out that this specific information had been redacted in a response to an access-to-information request.

During the discussion, Rousseau also pointed out that $2.5 million had already been paid to Québecor since the signing of the agreement. A further $2.5 million will be paid to the company 30 days before the event.

To ensure that Québecor does not incur any losses, the government has undertaken to pay the company up to an additional $2 million after the event, in the event of a loss.

If no losses are incurred, Québecor may be called upon to repay certain sums, Rousseau said.

The announcement of the government subsidy caused quite a stir last fall when Finance Minister Éric Girard stated in his economic statement that public finances were tight in the context of negotiations with the public sector.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 23, 2024.