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Eric Girard will ultimately not meet Gary Bettman in New York. The Minister of Finance, who was to be in the Big Apple to participate in the Bloomberg conference, canceled his trip in order to concentrate on government negotiations with the Common Front union members.
The latter planned to take advantage of his visit to New York on Wednesday to speak with Mr. Bettman, the commissioner of the National Hockey League (NHL). He himself confirmed this visit when announcing the arrival of the Los Angeles Kings in Quebec for two preseason games, two weeks ago.
Although Eric Girard had already met Gary Bettman, his time in the NHL offices took on a particular flavor given his recent comments and those of Prime Minister François Legault. The two men raised the possibility of the Nordiques returning to Quebec to justify the subsidy of $5 to $7 million granted for the Kings to come to the capital.
Questioned on this subject in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Minister Girard announced the cancellation of his stay south of the border. I stayed here for the financial framework of the negotiations, he explained, saying he wanted to assist his colleague Sonia LeBel, president of the Treasury Board and responsible for negotiations with public sector employees of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) , the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), the Federation of Workers of Quebec (FTQ) and the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS).
It must be said that the departure of the president of the FTQ, Magali Picard, for Dubai, where she was to participate in COP 28, sparked strong reactions on Tuesday morning. Barely arrived, the latter finally decided to return to Quebec immediately.