Source: Federal, provincial government awaiting certainty from CFL

Source: Federal, provincial government awaiting certainty from CFL

Source: Federal, provincial government awaiting certainty from CFL

TORONTO — It seems CFL players, coaches, front-office officials and fans aren’t the only ones eagerly awaiting the outcome of the league’s amendment talks with the CFL Players’ Association.

So too are the federal and provincial governments.

A league source said Monday that Ottawa and the provinces are both looking for additional certainty from the CFL as they consider its latest financial ask. Earlier this month, the CFL sent the federal government a revised request for $42.5 million in aid after calling for up to $150 million in April in the event of a cancelled 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The source spoke on condition on anonymity because the CFL’s negotiations with the federal and provincial governments have not been made public.

The CFL and CFL Players’ Association continue discussing potential amendments to their collective bargaining agreement that could allow for a shortened 2020 season. The league had established Friday as the deadline for those changes, the extension of the deal past its 2021 expiry as well as health-and-safety protocols and federal funding to be in place.

On Friday, the league extended the deadline to this week as it awaited word on government assistance. But it appears both federal and provincial officials also awaiting further certainty from the league regarding its ability to go ahead with an abbreviated 2020 campaign.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest a shortened season could begin is September but that a cancelled campaign also remains possible. The league has stated a revised CBA, significant federal government support, and approval from public health authorities are necessary for football to be played this year.

On Monday, a TSN report stated the two sides were closing in on an amended CBA and football operations staffs across the league were being told to start preparing for a possible 2020 season.

The report added players would begin travelling to Winnipeg — the CFL’s tentative hub city — Sept. 14, then have to pass two separate novel coronavirus tests over a six-day period in order to be allowed into the bubble. Training camps would begin following a six-day quarantine.

But CFLPA president Solomon Elimimian dispelled the report, tweeting “with MANY issues unresolved The PA and league are NOT close to a deal.” He added, “I won’t speak on what football ops are being directed to do but WE haven’t seen it.”

And that’s not good because any government support wouldn’t likely be coming until after the CFL and CFLPA came to terms. The league’s latest financial request will also need co-operation from the six provinces where league franchises are located.

Ottawa is dealing with the league’s $42.5-million request via the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), which is a federal agency but also a crown corporation. As a result, the federal government can’t mandate financial assistance for the CFL.

The BDC is a bank with lending criteria and the CFL is unlikely to qualify given its financial state. To secure financial assistance, the league would likely require the Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. governments to serve as guarantors on any funding provided.

And that might not be easy. Ontario sports minister Lisa MacLeod has stated often the province has no CFL-specific money and that there are many other sectors also requiring government help.

The source said some provinces might already be willing to guarantee financial support to the CFL based upon its naming Winnipeg at a tentative hub city. But an amended CBA, the source added, would certainly go a long way towards providing the certainty governments want to see.

The CFL and CFLPA can effectively end any thoughts of a shortened season without an amended CBA. But even if they do reach an agreement, the league’s hope for a 2020 campaign ultimately rests with government providing some sort of financial aid.

And to achieve that, the source reiterated the CFL must provide a solid plan outlining its health-and-safety protocols and provide definite certainty. A factor working in the league’s favour, the source added, is its latest proposal is much more manageable than the original and increased certainty created by an amended CBA would likely put any dissenting province’s concerns to rest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

CFL

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Manluk Centre/ Impress
Manluk Centre re-opens to the public

Drop in and registered programs will be available; one-third facility capacity to be followed.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are looking for male responsible for an armed robbery at Super Car and RV Wash in Leduc.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Most Read