Montreal Canadiens get grant to provide reading materials for schools

MONTREAL – The Quebec government has given the Montreal Canadiens two grants totalling $250,000 to create educational materials for schools in the province.

Education Minister Michelle Courchesne said Tuesday it was a way to mark the team’s 100th anniversary. “They needed experts to build those (materials) because the Canadiens don’t have any teachers, they don’t have any professionals, so they needed the best knowledge to make that interesting,” Courchesne said in explaining the grants.

But that explanation didn’t sit well with the Quebec teachers’ union, which said Tuesday that the government should have used the money to provide basic school supplies rather than give it to a sports team.

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“It’s not a poor team, the players make 10 to 15 times the salary of the premier,” said union president Rejean Parent.

He doesn’t mind if students use documents produced by the Canadiens aimed at helping youths but he condemns the use of public funds to produce the material.

“The government says it lacks resources but when we lack means, we must be particularly careful about how we use our money,” he said.

Courchesne said it’s better to support an educational initiative which could have positive results than just “buy an ad at the Bell Centre” as the government usually does.