Winnipeg member of parliament Jim Carr has publicly confirmed the federal government and CFL are in talks regarding potential funding.
The 69-year-old Carr stated there are discussions about a possible arrangement this year.
“(Conversations are) ongoing and the relationships are good and the line of communication is fluid. There are a lot of variables out there,” Carr said in an interview with Regina Leader-Post reporter Evan Radford.
“I’m giving you the view from a Prairie guy who understands the importance of that league to our identity and the Grey Cup itself — speaking of festivals — is a major national event that has meaning for a lot of Canadians.”
In 2020, the league asked for a $30 million interest-free loan, however, it was denied by the feds, which was first reported by 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk. That answer ultimately led the board of governors voting to cancel the season. The league has stated it never stopped discussions with the federal government since the denial last August.
There was still government money that helped the league’s franchises last year. For example, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers collected $3.1 million in aid from the government, including $2.9 million from the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy.
If the rest of the teams and league office collected similar amounts, which is a reasonable assumption without seeing the accounting numbers, the total would come in over $30 million.
As the figures show, just because the government said no to the CFL’s ultimatum doesn’t mean they didn’t pitch in. Remember, the initial ask from commissioner Randy Ambrosie was up to $150 million — infamously.
If the CFL really wants money above and beyond the assistance made available by the government, the league should expect to show they are going to be able to remain financially solvent for years to come.