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

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Intricate cloth masks with Indigenous design made by Teresa Snow. Facebook/ Masks4Maskwacis
‘Masks 4 Maskwacis’ wins Northern Lights Volunteer Award

The group received recognition for their efforts to support their community during COVID-19.

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

National Indigenous Peoples Day is June 21 in Canada. (Government of Canada photo)
Alberta RCMP recognizes National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

This year, June 21 marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples… Continue reading

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Most Read