Quebec working to keep hockey tourney: mayor
Quebec City Mayor Andrée Boucher says she's enlisted the province and Ottawa to help satisfy Hockey Canada the city's up for co-hosting a major tournament next year.
Boucher, who was in the U.S. capital Wednesday to promote major 400th anniversary celebrations in 2008, said she's been "astonished" at the number of problems.
Hockey Canada has criticized the provincial capital for dragging its feet on preparations for the world hockey championships, giving it until Jan. 30to explain how it intends to be ready to co-host with Halifax.
"For sure, it's disagreeable, I'm not happy about that," said Boucher. "But we are working very, very hard with the government of Quebec and the government of Canada also to find a response. I have a few problems to solve."
Quebec City's planned anniversary celebrations have dominated much of Boucher's time, she said.
The plans have been boosted by a month-long series of public programs at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington throughout January highlighting Quebec's music, food, theatre and film.
Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, on hand to help launch the Smithsonian project, said she expects a lot of Americans with roots in Quebec and others will travel north next year.
"Most of our programs are sold out," said the Smithsonian's Barbara Tuceling."There's a lot of interest in Quebec and learning more about it."
2008 marks the founding of Quebec City by Samuel de Champlain.It's also the first time the hockey championship, overseen by the International Ice Hockey Federation, is being held in Canada. It's usually held in Europe.
Boucher received a letter Jan. 22 from Scott Smith, a Hockey Canada vice-president, saying the organization had seldom seen a host city behave in such a lax fashion.
Smithsaid the city has not respected its obligations and even borrowed $500,000 from Halifax.
Hockey Canada has warned it's investigating other sites, like Winnipeg and Hamilton.
Quebec City was originally awarded the event in 2003.