The rules the CFL has to follow if it comes to Winnipeg

By | July 24, 2020

WINNIPEG — Manitoba public health officials have released new details on the tentative plan to make Winnipeg the CFL hub city, including isolation requirements and enforcement.

Earlier in the week, it was announced the CFL selected Winnipeg over bids from Calgary and Saskatchewan.

To go forward with the shortened 2020 season, the CFL said it needs a new collective bargaining agreement with the CFL Players’ Association, as well as funding from the federal government.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, said players will be tested for COVID-19 in their own jurisdictions. Then they will be tested on their first day, sixth day, and 13th day in Winnipeg.

“The isolation requirements will be 14 days in their home jurisdiction, tested, come to Winnipeg and then a further period of seven days of self-isolation before they can enter team activities,” he said at a news conference on Thursday.

As for how the province will enforce the 14-day self-isolation period, especially since many players live in the United States, Roussin noted Manitoba has 49 people with active cases of the virus right now who need to self-isolate and there’s no one standing outside their doors watching them.

“This is part of the public health response, there’s a lot riding on it for these players and these teams to ensure this bubble is COVID-free,” he said.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen described the CFL’s plan as robust and significant. He said it meets the test and is supported by Public Health.

“But I think Manitobans need to understand: no fans in the stands. That’s number one. This is not something that’s going to get fans coming to the stadium,” he said.

“Number two: the hotels at which the players and all of the coaches and staff will be staying are closed to everyone else. So they are only there for the players.”

Friesen added that no out-of-town fans will be coming to Winnipeg.

“Any violations of those rules, any violation of the bubble principle put in place by the CFL and that player goes home,” he said.

On Friday the province announced a community-based volunteer committee to oversee the plans for the CFL hub city.

The committee will focus on economic return on investment, creating community engagement, and providing oversight and support to the CFL.

“A major event like being the CFL’s hub city will bring positive economic benefits to Winnipeg and help return more Manitobans to work in hard-hit areas like tourism and hospitality,” said Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler in a news release.

“With public health and safety at its foundation, the committee will focus on engaging the community and ensuring Manitoba gets a good return on our investment.”

The committee will be chaired by Brock Bulbuck, executive chair of Boyd Group Services Inc.

The other volunteer members include:

  • David Asper, the acting dean of the University of Manitoba’s faculty of law;
  • Bob Garney, co-founder and CEO of Payworks Inc.;
  • Obby Khan, founder and CEO of the Shawarma Khan restaurants and former offensive lineman for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers;
  • Dr. Peter McDonald, orthopedic surgeon;
  • James Murphy, community and youth liaison for the Manitoba Construction Sector Council and former wide receiver for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers;
  • Jennifer Nepinak, the University of Winnipeg’s associate vice president of Indigenous engagement;
  • Hannah Pratt, founder and freelance consultant with Hannah Rose PR;
  • Paul Robson, former general manager for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and former chair of the CFL; and
  • George Sigurdson, founder and president of the Sirgurdson Financial Group Inc.

The province said the committee will also include ex-officio members Philip Houde, CEO of the Manitoba Economic Development Office and Secretary to the Economic Growth Committee of Cabinet; Colin Ferguson, president and CEO of Travel Manitoba; and Dayna Spiring, president and CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg and chair of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers board of directors. 

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