Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin said any decision to change the gas-tax rules to favour a Quebec arena is an "appalling way to run a country."

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This article was published 9/2/2011 (4123 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin said any decision to change the gas-tax rules to favour a Quebec arena is an "appalling way to run a country."

"The first rule of Canadian politics is 'What Quebec wants Quebec gets,' " said Martin. "If Winnipeg had asked Stephen Harper to rewrite the rules so we could have federal funding for a hockey arena and an NHL franchise, they'd have laughed us out of the room."

Martin said it's bad enough the government is willing to pander shamelessly to Quebec to "buy votes" but said it may hurt Winnipeg's chances to beat out Quebec City in a fight for an NHL franchise.

"The gas tax was to help communities cope with the $100-billion infrastructure deficit, not subsidize professional sports franchises," Martin said.

A spokesman for Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz said he would not comment "on speculation."

A spokesman for True North Sports and Entertainment, which owns the MTS Centre and the AHL's Manitoba Moose, also had no comment.

-- Mia Rabson