Just how much is the return of major league baseball worth to Montrealers? Nothing — according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The group has put up a giant billboard outside Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, warning that "Montréal won't pay for your new stadium."
The team has floated the idea of splitting its season between Florida and Quebec. The Rays president even announced — and then abruptly cancelled — plans to put up a new Montreal-Tampa graphic in their outfield.
The Taxpayers Federation has moved quickly to make its position clear, taking aim at businessman Stephen Bronfman's reported attempt to court Quebec lawmakers for public funds to construct a new field.
In a statement, the Federation's Quebec director, Renaud Brossard said "the Rays are welcome to play in Montreal, but Quebec taxpayers aren't going to pay for a new stadium."
"Quebec's economic recovery is fragile, our health-care system is struggling and this is the most heavily taxed jurisdiction in North America," he continued.
"Quebec taxpayers can't pay for another stadium for a part-time baseball team."
The Federation cited a poll by Léger for the Journal in which 60% of respondents said they were opposed to public investment in a new baseball stadium.
"Here's the reality," Brossard said, "a new ballpark ranks way below fixing roads, supporting hospitals and reducing the heavy tax burden on struggling families."
Cheaper by the dozen, indeed! A Montrealer has pleaded guilty to charges of forgery and "making deceptive statements" after a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation found he used 12 made-up kids to claim $144,821 in child benefits between 2007 and 2018, according to a press release from the agency.
Guerly Estimé now has to pay it all back in fines.
Montreal resident sentenced for submitting false Canada child benefits claims for phony children.… https://t.co/gwUXUlUVfj
Federal government services like Service Canada and federally regulated businesses like post offices and banks will be observing the holiday, which means they will be closed. Revenu Québec notes that it is "is extending deadlines that would normally fall on September 30 to the next business day" as a result.
Provincially regulated government buildings and services will be open and operating, as will Quebec grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, retail stores, museums, sporting events, family activities and the like.
However, individual institutions or businesses may choose to observe the holiday. You can check operating hours or call ahead if you're unsure.
In June, Quebec Premier François Legault said he was "not in favour" of instituting a statutory holiday dedicated to Indigenous people, but committed to "[coordinate] with the federal government to do the necessary research into the residential schools that are here in Quebec."
"For the postseason, we're gonna add a sign in the right-field foul territory with a very simple Tampa Bay-Montreal graphic," Silverman said.
"With the eyes of baseball on us this October, we want that visible symbol of our plan and our excitement for it."
Plans for a sister-city project with the Tampa Bay Rays have been in the works for quite some time. In 2019, the MLB reportedly granted permission to the Rays to possibly play some of their games in Montreal.
The sister-city plan will allow the team to play some games in Montreal while exploring the possibility of a new stadium, ESPN reported.
"We are making progress both here and in Montreal," Silverman added.
"I'm very encouraged by the conversations we're having. It's about a connection with Montreal. Montreal, to us, is the best city to partner with."