My Letter to Premier Doug Ford -- CFL Football Financial Help Suggestions

October 28, 2020
The Honourable Doug Ford, MPP
Constituency Office
823 Albion Road
Etobicoke, ON M9V 1A3

Dear Premier Ford,

Will you please share an important message about COVID-19 and cloth face masks on my Football in Humber Valley Village community blog and its important message with constituents in your Etobicoke riding? I also have some suggestions for you about how Ontario can help this province's three Canadian Football League (CFL) football teams without using taxpayers' dollars.

I live in Humber Valley Village, Etobicoke and I have a blog that encourages residents to wear a cloth face mask to help protect themselves against the spread of COVID-19: I have also shared my Football in Humber Valley Village blog with Kinga Surma, MPP. I make no revenue from this blog.

As I am a football fan, my blog encourages Etobicoke residents to buy and wear Toronto Argonaut cloth face masks (or face masks from another Canadian Football League (CFL) team) to protect themselves from COVID-19 and show support for their team and the CFL. I also have a link to the CFL's "Join the Grey Cup Fan Base" campaign asking CFL fans to pay a fee, get their name engraved on the Grey Cup, and financially support the CFL.

As Premier of Ontario, I would also appreciate you taking the time to consider the following ways that you can help the Argos and other Ontario CFL teams financially without using taxpayers' dollars:

  • allow the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) and cannabis companies located in Ontario to advertise and invest in Ontario's three CFL teams: the RedBlacks, Argos and Tiger-Cats

  • permit the OCS store and cannabis companies located in Ontario to advertise and promote their medical cannabis and Cannabis 2.0 products at CFL games in Ontario stadiums and on TV/radio broadcasts

  • consider a wholesale or retail sales tax on the sale of NFL footballs, jerseys and hats in Ontario and use the revenue to support football in Ontario

  • pursue a talent tax on Ontario football players who are recruited by U.S. or international pro, amateur or college football leagues and use this revenue to fund the CFL and its players

  • explore the possibility of developing lands surrounding BMO Field in Toronto to include public football fields and soccer fields on which residents can play for free

  • I would also consider encouraging Premier Horgan of BC to offer a "managed, socially distanced, public gathering of one-third full of face-mask wearing fans" B.C. Place Stadium (recently used as polling stations in the BC election) as host for a shortened CFL season from January-April in 2021: if, of course, there is no dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases in the two weeks following the recent BC election

  • given recent provincial elections in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, I believe there to be other premiers in Canada who might support this idea of a well-managed, public event that could generate significant merchandising and other revenues for Ontario's CFL teams, the BC Lions and the City of Vancouver

I am not lobbying you on behalf of the CFL, its players, the league, nor its owners. Nor, am I making this request on behalf of any media outlet or cannabis company, nor am I lobbying you on behalf of any political party or special interest group.

My requests are being made as a single resident of Humber Valley Village, in Etobicoke, a Toronto Argonaut football fan (and season ticketholder), as well as a supporter of the CFL and its game in Ontario and Canada.

Thank you very much for taking the time to consider my blog, its CFL cloth face masks message, the Grey Cup Fan Base campaign, and my suggestions for helping the CFL in Ontario.

Tom Wolfer

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Tom. I appreciate your passion and ideas. I grew up an Argo fan. When I was transfered to Ottawa I became an Ottawa fan (never not an Argo fan); I have attended games in all three Ontario cities.
At times I have rooted for just about every team - though sometimes reluctantly (:slightly_smiling_face:
I remember leaving the first total points game Argos vs Riders (It's in the bag Dad. Leo & "Act of God"...
Bobby Simpson:(

Thanks. Lived in Ottawa for 6 years....some of that Gate 7 old Lansdowne Place.....Holmwood Avenue...great city...hardly recognized the area when I went back for first time in 15 years 2 years ago....great what they have done...

I've been wearing my Blue Bomber masks for over 3 months now. I'm proud to and I live in Nova Scotia ! I bet my masks are the only ones of their kind here. They sure get a lot of looks ! Only a few people have said anything.

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Loved Halifax when I lived there. Can't wait for the Schooners to be there so we have a 10th CFL team. Football will be great there.

Then build a nice large stadium for 30,000, gets some big time Owners with deep pockets, some major sponsors and city approval with transportation, Sell 20,000 season tickets and your in?? Or not!!

That's where allowing Canada's burgeoning Marijuana sector (more markets opening up after the recent US Election) could help for sure if policymakers would be willing to see this opportunity. But, a community-owned team (maritime region) as they have out West in some markets could work. Fan support and tickets will never be an issue in the maritimes once the corporate sector and government get their acts together, it's just not that region's culture: it's very loyal win or lose. There's lots of money in the maritimes, people there are just more risk averse (which they have to be). But, don't kid yourself about the money not being there. Transportation-wise? Hmm. Yeah, Dartmouth does make it more difficult, but, seriously, no longer a commute than getting to Ottawa's field, or Hamilton's field, or, heck, Calgary's field, if you have ever tried that by car or bus or ferry or whatever. And, besides, Halifax-Dartmouth is different in the respect that it has bridges people can drive pooling...that's more the Halifax-Dartmouth culture than public transit....this fetish everyone has about building a whole new public transit infrastructure is crap. Halifax-Dartmouth is a much stronger community than larger centres. You provide carpooling and parking......that will work. In fact, if it were not for the CFL mandate, new 30,000 seat stadium to start off is un-warranted...could easily play in a retrofitted Dalhousie (Yahoo!!), Saint Mary's, or MSVU, or U on Dartmouth side stadium. But, you know how the CFL is, no money, bus still trying to compete against the NFL....never learn...

Hi, sorry, a few more thoughts......when I lived in Halifax Dartmouth, I do not recall any grand infrastructure helping me get to, for example, a ferry to NFLD or PEI....driving, taxi, paid shuttle service the airport in the middle of nowhere were the choices. I have been wondering if there was any place in the Maritimes that could be accessed by the existing ferry service from each of the 4 Atlantic provinces: for example, Cape Tormentine. Imagine, a stadium located somewhere the public transportation system was...god forbid... a ferry to the game!!! Boy, that would be cool. However, I still say the Halifax-Dartmouth location could work because anyone crossing the bridges from the Halifax-side going to the game in a car of 3 or 4 more people would not have to pay tolls by showing tickets. Or, maybe just reserve this for season ticket holders. Lots of cool things are possible. Hey, if Halifax can make an airport 45 minutes outside the city with a skeleton public transit system work, anything is possible. Is it foggy there today? The possibilities are endless....people just have to get with it before the CFL fane base withers and dies. Hope everyone out there is wearing a Schooners cloth face marketing by the Halifax Herald et. al might help. Sorry, thought I would share these before getting on with the day.

Very well said. Really like your thoughts which are carefully pointed out.
New top-notch stadium needed for sure. If you want major events that draw world-class athletes stadium must be medium-large. Under 24,000 is shooting yourself in the foot. Any stadium today is 100 to 200 million.
Can't just build for CFL. 100 million is not a big amount. You want to make a big wave in eastern North America. Build the stadium and owners and players will come. On Marijuana don't buy any shares/stocks as today most are big failures. The US will legalize very soon. Unless you got cash to burn. Cheers

I hear you on pot socks....ouch. On deck Schooners. Let's Go Argos! Long live the CFL!!!

People from all over NS travel to Halifax everyday for medical care. It's where the big hospitals are. We are going on Thursday for my wife's check up. The population and the hotels and pubs and stores are already in Halifax. Last time I was at Cape Tormentine there was only an old lighthouse. :laughing:
Halifax is the only site to bring in a team. I could see having bus shuttles to and from games for places like Sydney. That would be a helluva ride. :wink:

So many people have never been to a football game so they have no idea how good the CFL really is. One visit is usually enough to make them fans... Give out free tickets for a few games and watch the fan base grow.
Moncton to Halifax is 3 hours. Not too bad for a bus load of fans.


I agree. What you say makes sense.

Sorry but all of these proposals sound so "Remember when" the CFL needs to start thinking progressively to attract real investment plus the real fans must accept the fact it will cost to see a CFL game in the future. Sports is not cheap or free.

True. Fans are the most important. But infusion of capital from, say, the burgeoning Canadian cannabis sector via government regs and other funding could help prevent fan attrition (loss of interest in CFL) in favour of NFL by getting league running again on solid financial structure. Good games on field will take care of getting fans in seats.

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Thanks...A lot of what you say makes sense too.

Thanks Dan38. The most important thing to do is get others to spread the word. "Buy CFL-branded face masks and tell everyone else you know to do the same."

This is the most important thing for every CFL fan to do between now and the end of the year, vaccine or no vaccine, which will not be available until 2021 it looks like: if CFL fans love CFL football then support your local CFL team, and if you are worried about COVID-19 as it gets worse, protect yourself, family and friends until the vaccine is finally ready. Wearing a football helmut reduces the risk of head and spinal injury on the football field. Wearing a face mask dramatically reduces the likelihood of getting and spreading COVID-19.

When I was a kid I used to swim in the Humber. We lived in the north of Toronto in the Weston area and that was pretty much as far as the suburbs had crept. The river was much cleaner then. The 401 was not expanded then. it was a 4 lane hwy with a green strip median. North of the 401 was farms...Just reminiscing. Some posters don't like when we 'Remember When'. :laughing:

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Ah. But still has great trails for hiking and biking. The City has been doing a nice job with this. There's some nice green space too, places where I have been throwing the football until I found great local football fields. Reminiscing can be good.

From Weston there was a trail I biked on all the way to the lakeshore and along out to the Beaches. Early in the morning there was nobody else around. A cousin of mine used to live in the Warren Park area.

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Still there. Part of Humber River Trail system. Getting busier now with new condo developments.