A league source said Monday that Ottawa and the provinces are both looking for additional certainty from the CFL as they consider its latest financial ask. New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

A league source said Monday that Ottawa and the provinces are both looking for additional certainty from the CFL as they consider its latest financial ask. New CFL balls are photographed at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stadium in Winnipeg Thursday, May 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Sources: CFL discussing $30-million, interest-free loan with federal government

Time is of the essence if there’s is any chance of starting a season in September

The CFL is making a last-ditch effort at securing funding from the federal government.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation said Monday the league is now talking with the government about a $30-million, interest-free loan. The league feels it needs financial support from Ottawa to stage an abbreviated 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sources said the newest request came after communication between the federal government and unspecified CFL owners. The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor federal officials have publicly divulged potential funding details.

The $30-million request is a reduction from the $44-million amended request the league presented last month. In April, the CFL approached the federal government for up to $150 million in assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The CFL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ MORE: CFL, CFL Players’ Association extend CBA amendment talks deadline

The $30-million request comes after the league had exhausted specified loan discussions with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC), both crown corporations.

But sources had told The Canadian Press the BDC was not a funding option because the bank and the league couldn’t agree on loan terms.

That left the CFL to approach its primary financial institution to examine the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), with assistance from EDC.

Again, though, the CFL couldn’t come to an agreement on terms.

So now, any CFL-specific assistance will ultimately be decided by the federal government. A specified repayment plan still needs to be finalized and Ottawa wants to know what health-and-safety protocols the league would implement in order to ensure wellness during a shortened season.

Previously, Heritage Canada was attempting to handle the CFL’s requests in conjunction with the provinces. But with the league needing an answer in the next couple of weeks, other opportunities had to be examined.

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 originally set July 24 as the deadline for CBA amendments, an extension of the deal past its 2021 expiry, federal funding and health-and-safety protocols.

That deadline came and went without an agreement. But while the CFL has extended the cutoff date, it hasn’t publicly announced a new one.

Time is of the essence if there’s is any chance of starting a season in September in Winnipeg, the league’s tentative hub city.

The CFL says it needs financial assistance to hold a shortened season. Ambrosie has said the league collectively lost upwards of $20 million last season and its nine teams have had little to no opportunity to generate revenue due to the pandemic.

The CFL is a gate-driven league, with ticket sales being the primary source of revenue for all franchises.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s CFL team drops ‘Eskimos’ name, will begin search for new name

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CFLCoronavirus

Just Posted

Talia McKay of Williams Lake is a burn survivor who remains grateful for the support she received from the Burn Fund (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
’You have to allow yourself the grace to heal’: B.C. burn survivor reflects on her recovery

Learning how to stand straight and walk again was a feat said Williams Lake resident Talia McKay

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)
FRENCH CONNECTION: Worth taking another look at hemp for paper production

Ninety years after being deemed illegal, few are afraid of marijauna

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Milking cows and strangers on the premises

Cows in a milking barn may get upset if a stranger comes

Lake City Secondary School Grade 12 students Haroop Sandhu, from left, Amrit Binning and Cleary Manning are members of the school’s horticulture club. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LCSS horticulture club a growing success

Aspiring gardeners at a Williams Lake secondary school are earning scholarship dollars… Continue reading

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Tribune.
FOREST INK: Plenty of changes happening in forest industry

A new process produces a biodegradable plastic-like product from wood waste powder

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read