Province stiffs sports fans

Finance Minister Tom Marshall announced yesterday that the province’s budget surplus is expected to take a significant jump – four times what was originally forecast. This is due to delays in maintenance to the Terra Nova oil platform. Despite the extra $150-$200 million, the province is unwilling to spend the $500,000 needed to help bring pro hockey to its capital city. Sports fans in Newfoundland and Labrador must feel as though they are getting the shaft – a look at the 2011 provincial budget shows that the province plans to spend $1.5 million this year and another $1.5 million next year for season three of Republic of Doyle. What makes Republic of Doyle worthy of taxpayer money and a hockey team not? The province will argue that the economic spinoff in terms of the local economy and tourism are great, but what about the spinoff of filling Mile One Stadium in the downtown core two nights a week with a team to call our own?

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