The new NDP government has refused to open the treasury to fund a major sporting event in Victoria.
In a statement issued today, Finance Minister Carole James said that there will be no direct provincial funding or financial-shortfall guarantees for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Victoria newspaper publisher David Black chairs the bid committee. Other members include John Furlong and George Heller, who headed the organizing committeees for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.
“We have analyzed the bid committee’s work and see that too many details remain unknown to fully understand the costs, obligations and risks associated with hosting such a large-scale event," James said. "Those include commitments from the federal government and local governments, commitments on revenues from the Games, finalized venue locations, costs for security and emergency response, as well as any added costs to the province, like transit, transportation infrastructure and health services that would come with the influx of athletes, coaches, dignitaries and visitors.
“Our government was elected with a very clear set of priorities," James continued. "Those priorities are helping communities impacted by the wildfires and those suffering from the opioid crisis, focusing on making life more affordable for British Columbians and adding to long-term economic growth throughout the province."
She thanked the bid committee for an "incredible effort" in preparing a proposal in a short period of time.
“The Commonwealth Games have a long history of promoting sport and inspiring communities," James noted. "I expect B.C. communities will bid for future Games, such as the 100th anniversary in 2030. The province will happily consider those proposals when there is more time to do the work necessary to protect B.C. taxpayers from financial uncertainty.”