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Nordic Minister of Finance Eric Girard met with Gary Bateman in New York today

Nordic Minister of Finance Eric Girard met with Gary Bateman in New York today

After canceling a meeting last November, the Nordic Minister finally resumed his meeting in New York today with the commissioner of the National Hockey League (NHL). The possibility of bringing a professional team back to Quebec was certainly on the list.

On the sidelines of his meeting with investors in New York, following the budget presentation, a “courtesy meeting” with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was on the Finance Minister’s agenda, and Eric’s office has confirmed Girard will join our parliamentary office.

This is a “special meeting.” His team had nothing to say about the content of the topics that would be discussed there. However, potential expansion and the possibility of bringing a professional team back to Quebec had to be part of the discussions.

Deputy Commissioner and Gary Bettman's right-hand man, Bill Daly, told simply Newspaper Shortly after one o'clock in the afternoon, “Yes, the meeting is held.” When asked for his thoughts on the meeting and whether NHL expansion was a possibility on the agenda, Daly did not respond.

Last October, Mr. Girard reiterated his desire to prove to the NHL that the nation's capital is the city of choice for a professional hockey team. The minister first spoke with Pittman via video in January 2022, and then again in person in New York, in May of the same year.



Stevens LeBlanc/Journal de Quebec

“When I go to New York, if Mr. Bateman is in New York when I'm there, I take the opportunity to say hello and remind him that Quebec is a dynamic city with infrastructure,” he announced during a press conference with Quebec Mayor Bruno Marchand.

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The meeting has been cancelled

Moreover, he had already planned to discuss the return of the northerners with the commissioner during a meeting last November. However, the Minister decided to cancel this meeting with the investors and the Commissioner due to the negotiations with the public sector that had become more complex and lengthy.



Nordic Minister of Finance Eric Girard met with Gary Bateman in New York today

France Press agency

Thus, the minister wanted to focus on the government's financial framework.

On Tuesday, it seemed that the Minister of Finance had two tasks during his visit to New York.

The first is to reassure investors after the budget deficit. The second: convincing Gary Bettman of the possibility of a professional hockey team returning to Quebec.

Also last October, Minister Girard confirmed that “in the medium term” there could still be an expansion of the NHL.

“I heard that Quebec City is a potential candidate so I think it's all positive. First there has to be expansion, then there has to be a competitive application and there will be a process. In these matters, we need a long-term vision,” he said, claiming that the city's “Changed” since the Nordiques left for Colorado.

– In collaboration with Stephane Cadoret

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