Group behind Halifax franchise bid chasing federal money: report

Schooners Sports and Entertainment (formerly Maritime Football Limited) has hired lobbyists in an effort to convince federal government officials to support funding for a Halifax stadium project, according to the website iPolitics.

From the story:

Three consultants from Ottawa’s Summa Strategies, including vice-chair and political pundit Tim Powers, registered last week to lobby federally on behalf of Maritime Football Partnership Limited, headed up by former Arizona Coyotes owners Anthony LeBlanc and Gary Drummond, and AMJ Campbell Van Lines president and CEO Bruce Bowser.

The stadium issue remains the biggest hurdle for a possible Halifax franchise. While initially pegging the cost at approximately $190 million, LeBlanc has since said they plan to reduce cost to around $130 million. While Halifax regional council voted 15-0 in November to direct municipal staff to complete a review of a business case for a 24,000-seat facility to be built at Shannon Park, details on how the stadium will be funded remain unclear.

The registrations, which are required under federal law, provide some details as to where the group could be looking for money.

In their identical registrations, Powers and Summa colleagues Kristin Wilton and Robin MacLachlan, a notable NDP pundit, say they are targeting in their lobbying efforts MPs, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office…. Wallace is registered to focus on Infrastructure Canada and the Intergovernmental Affairs Secretariat.

The group is headed by former Arizona Coyotes owners Anthony LeBlanc and Gary Drummond as well as AMJ Campbell Van Lines president and CEO Bruce Bowser. LeBlanc has said that the SSE is aiming “to provide significant updates at the end of March.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said recently that SSE has committed $60 million to the bid but details on how that money would be used remains unclear.

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