Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The CFL’s quest for federal funding in order to stage an abbreviated season received a huge boost Friday.

The league’s health-and-safety protocols remain the biggest requirement in its request earlier this week for a $30-million, interest-free loan from Ottawa. Currently, Health Canada is evaluating the plans the CFL would implement during a shortened campaign that would played be in Winnipeg, its tentative hub city.

On Friday, Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, was very positive about the CFL’s proposed measures.

Story continues below advertisement

“What has been submitted to us, I think, is encouraging,” Njoo said. “Obviously there’s still details to be worked out ... I think it’s something we can work with.”

That’s important, because acceptance from Health Canada is a must. Without it, there’s no federal money for the CFL and, essentially, no season.

If games are held, players would be required to isolate for 14 days at home before coming to Winnipeg. Upon their arrival in the Manitoba capital, players would self-isolate for another seven days.

Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer, has said players will be tested for COVID-19 in their own jurisdictions. Then they’ll be tested on their first day, sixth day and 13th day in Winnipeg.

The general public will not be allowed inside dedicated CFL host hotels or IG Field. Only players, staff, league officials and media can enter the stadium.

Violations will result in strict penalties, including players being sent home for the remainder of the season.

“In principle, I’d say that so far I think it’s the same as we had for the NHL,” Njoo said. “My understanding is they’ve also had discussions, and we also have had discussions, with Manitoba health officials.

Story continues below advertisement

“From the Manitoba health perspective, I think they’re comfortable with what has been put forward so far, but there are still some details and some other aspects we need to discuss. Obviously there’s still details to be worked out.”

The NHL has resumed play with Edmonton and Toronto as their hub cities.

Last month, the Canadian government rejected the Toronto Blue Jays’ plan to play home games at Rogers Centre over fears of spreading the novel coronavirus. The Jays ultimately settled upon playing their home contests in nearby Buffalo.

The CFL sent the federal government a request earlier this week for a $30-million, interest-free loan. That’s a reduction from the $44-million amended requisition it presented last month.

In April, the CFL approached the federal government for up to $150-million in assistance owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But a source with knowledge of the situation told The Canadian Press on Friday if Health Canada rejects the CFL’s protocols, the league can continue to amend them until they meet standards established by the national agency. That, in turn, would keep the CFL in line for financial assistance from the federal government.

Story continues below advertisement

The league has maintained it requires government funding in order to stage an abbreviated season.

The CFL source spoke on the condition of anonymity as neither the league nor federal government have divulged details of the loan request.

Earlier this week, the source revealed the CFL’s newest plan calls for approximately $28-million of the loan going toward an abbreviated campaign.

CFL governors held a video-conference Thursday and presumably received an update on the situation with Ottawa. But word came down after the meeting that no decisions had been made and the league and government continue to talk.

Surprisingly, though, league sources said the board was set to reconvene Friday — a rarity that it would meet on consecutive days. But there was no confirmation of the video-conference from the CFL.

One question, though, is how Manitoba can enforce the 14-day, self-isolation period, especially since many CFL players live in the U.S. and would be coming from there to participate in a shortened season.

Story continues below advertisement

The Manitoba government also established a volunteer committee to oversee CFL hub city plans. It will focus on economic return on investment, creating community engagement, and providing oversight and support for the league.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest an abbreviated season could begin is early next month. But he’s also said a cancelled campaign remains a possibility.

This is essentially the league’s last-ditch effort to secure financial support from the federal government for an abbreviated 2020 season.

Ottawa definitely requires cost certainty from the CFL, as well as a specified repayment plan. But, first and foremost, it needs Health Canada’s approval of the league’s health-and-safety protocols.

The CFL continues to meet with the CFL Players’ Association about amending the current collective bargaining agreement to allow for an abbreviated season. The league also must finalize a deal with broadcast partner TSN.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies