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Gilles Duceppe, leader of the Bloc Quebecois poses outside his offices in Montreal on August 12, 2010. First elected to the House of Commons in a byelection in 1990 marking him the first Bloc MP elected. (Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)

Christinne Muschi/christinne muschi

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to commit personally to helping Quebec City build a new hockey arena.

Duceppe said Wednesday a new arena is crucial if the provincial capital is to have any chance of landing another National Hockey League team.

The Bloc leader also said a spanking new building would boost Quebec City's chances of playing host to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was asked Wednesday about the possibility of the league returning to Quebec City and replied he wouldn't even begin to think about it unless there was a new arena.

Bettman made the comment during a question-and-answer session at the world hockey summit in Toronto.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume has been pushing all three ventures - the building, the team and the Olympics - in the last few months.

A new building would cost an estimated $400-million.

The city has been without an NHL team since the Nordiques left in 1995 to become the Colorado Avalanche.

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