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

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

North Westside residents can dispose of their unwanted bulky items between June 30 and July 14, 2021. (File photo)
North Westside residents can soon get rid of unwanted bulky items

Large household items can be disposed of at North Westside Transfer Station June 30 to July 14

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D area. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control to Electoral Area D; director calls for respectful discussion

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)
Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read