Return of the Expos: Quebec's major parties weigh in

It looks as though the next Quebec government would be favorable — at least, to a certain point — to help finance a downtown baseball stadium should a major league team ever return to Montreal.

During a debate Tuesday night on the economy, the Liberals, the CAQ and the Parti Québécois have all indicated they'd provide limited government financing for a new ballpark — under certain conditions.

CAQ MNA François Bonnardel says his party will insist that private investors would have to shoulder most of the cost of building the park, and come up with a "solid and credible" business plan. 

Liberal finance minister Carlos Leitao says a Liberal government would take a minority stake in a baseball stadium and as a partner would require a return on the investment. "If the project is viable, it will be worthwhile for the Quebec taxpayer," he said.

Former PQ finance minister Nicolas Marceau, meantime, said he's okay with a new ballpark, but only if the private sector assumes most of the cost of building it.

Québec Solidaire's Vincent Marissal, who's running against PQ leader Jean-François Lisée in the Rosemont riding, says they're not against having the Expos come back, but insist baseball is a business, not a charity or a public utility, and is therefore not entitled to government funds.

"It's not the role of the state to enter professional sport," he said.

Based on those answers, that would likely mean that the Quebec government would be the only level of government that would assume the cost of at least some of the cost of building a new stadium, should the Expos return to Montreal. The Trudeau government is on record as saying building a ballpark wouldn't qualify for federal infrastructure funds, and last year, Valerie Plante stated during her successful campaign for the mayor's job that no public money would be forthcoming for a new team, without the input of Montrealers.

-CJAD 800's Andrew Peplowski contributed to this report.