Mr. Speaker, the House passed Bill C-212 that recognized hockey and lacrosse as national sports. Hockey is a sport that unites Canadians regardless of region. Canadians have a special relationship with hockey and we are very disturbed over this strike.
I do not stand alone in the House when I say that the revenues and salaries of hockey players and owners are sufficient.
League revenues increased 22 per cent last year from $549 million to $700 million. Salaries increased by 19 per cent. Small markets like Winnipeg are losing money and jobs. Markets like that cannot sustain a strike.
Fifteen to eighteen hundred jobs are directly attributed to the Winnipeg Jets and over $50 million is injected into the local economy of Winnipeg.
Stop this madness. Lock yourselves in a room. Negotiate an agreement and save five small franchise teams in Canada. Do not destroy the livelihood of many ordinary Canadians who depend on sport for income.
Last, I encourage the players and owners to get back to the table, stop the lockout and give hockey back to ordinary Canadians.