Federal government “still examining” financial aid request from the CFL

As the lives and financial security of CFL players and staff hang in the balance, the government of Canada continues to debate whether or not to provide assistance to the league or make its players eligible for existing government programs.

Postmedia reporter Dan Barnes provided the latest update on where the government stands.

“Latest word today from Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage on CFL request for financial aid: “Our government recognizes how important the CFL and professional sport is for many Canadians, as well as a display of incredible Canadian athletes,” Barnes tweeted.

“The government is still examining the CFL’s request for financial assistance and any new information will be shared in due course.”

The continued non-committal attitude of the government is unsurprising given the amount of internal and external conflicts at play, but it offers no solace to those whose careers rely on their action. The CFL and CFL Players’ Association have not yet reached a deal on an amended collective bargaining agreement and they agreed to extend their deadline to await word on government assistance.

Frustrations from players about those delays have continued to boil over, with CFLPA president Solomon Elimimian publicly calling out reports of optimism for being false, leading to a series of tense exchanges between players and reporters.

The league wants a decision by the end of the month but the government has offered no timeline. One thing is clear: no government support equals no season.