OTTAWA - The federal government handed out yet another cheque Monday to a Quebec snowmobiling club, the latest in more than $6 million of federal funding announcements that have gone to snowmobile clubs in that province since the last federal election.
Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis presented a cheque for $70,000 Monday to the Club motoneige Beauce-Frontenac -- located in his riding -- for the purchase of a new snowmobile trail-grooming machine.
The same club got $90,000 last year from Paradis for a trail-grooming machine.
A QMI Agency analysis of federal government spending announcements since the last election shows that snowmobile clubs in Quebec -- but nowhere else in the country - have had tremendous success tapping the federal treasury for snowmobile trail-grooming machines.
Since the fall of 2008, about 25 clubs in Quebec have shared $6.17 million in government funds to buy new machines.
"We'd love to see some dollars come into our province," said Donnie O'Keefe, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation.
The Newfoundland and Labrador club warned earlier this week it might have to cease grooming trails in that province because of a lack of cash.
In other provinces, snowmobile users pay out of pocket for the upkeep and grooming of their provincial trail systems through annual permit fees.
While Quebec's snowmobile trail system is partly a user-pay system, Ottawa tosses in millions of tax dollars on top of that.
The QMI Agency analysis of federal spending patterns shows the only other provincial snowmobile club to get federal cash is in New Brunswick, which received a $300,000 grant last winter to fix up trail bridges.