Sep 2, 2012 / 4:00 pm
Quebec Premier Jean Charest threw a surprise bodycheck to hockey-loving voters in the province's capital region on Sunday, warning a Parti Quebecois government could hurt the chances of bringing their beloved Nordiques back.
Charest has been hammering away all campaign about how a PQ government would lead to economic and political upheaval.
But on Sunday he was more specific.
He suggested that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would be less likely to put a team in Quebec City with the sovereigntist party in power.
The PQ, Charest said, is threatening a referendum and "five years of disruption" to follow. Whereas his own party has helped drive down the unemployment rate in the area, he said.
"If I put myself in Mr. Bettman's place, a city where there's full employment means there will be people who will go watch hockey and have the money to go watch hockey," Charest said at a news conference.
"Then there's the other choice, with five years of economic disruption. Between the two, the choice is pretty clear."
Quebec City has already announced plans to build a $400-million arena in the hopes of luring back an NHL team. Charest's Liberal government and Quebec City have pledged millions in taxpayer money for the project.
The franchise was relocated to Denver in 1995.
With the provincial election on Tuesday, Charest's Liberals were fighting to retain their seats in the Quebec City area against a strong fight from the Parti Quebecois and, in particular, the new Coalition for Quebec's Future.
- with files from Patrice Bergeron, Martin Ouellet and Jonathan Montpetit
Read more Canada News
- Clark wins war but not her own battle
- Missing man's remains found
- Beach trip for bus beheader
- Ferry officer guilty of criminal negligence
- Female dies after high school rugby play
- 200 flee foothills fires in Alberta
- Hadfield: Social media's Space Oddity
- Evacuation orders from Alberta wildfires
- Mother's heart broken on Mother's Day
- Bodychecking banned in Nova Scotia
- Captain Canada packs his bags
- Looking for illegal downloaders