Reporting From Toronto, Canada – Toronto will likely end its pursuit to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games after the Economic Development Committee adopted a city staff report that urged against it proceeding, saying costs and risks were high and that there was no time to drum up the support from the Federal and Provincial governments or the general public.
The warnings in a report released Monday by the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture Mike Williams were heeded by the Committee members who have decided to send the report to the City Council as is, virtually ending Toronto’s chances of hosting the Games.
Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak who filed the original motion to take a look at bidding for the Games told GamesBids.com Tuesday that “the report is pretty negative” and that he understands it will be sent to City Council as is for further review.
In March the City Council voted 25-18 against fast-tracking the motion so that it could be vetted by the committee, and it is now likely the motion will die in the next Council meeting set to be held on June 28.
Toronto’s Mayor John Tory had urged “great caution” in proceeding with the bid.
Any bid would have taken place in a compressed time line and organizing the Games would have occurred over a shorter than typical period of time as the city was vying to replace Durban after the South African city was stripped of the Games earlier in the year when it missed financial deadlines. Timing was a critical component of Toronto’s decision.
The report also claimed that the necessary community consultations to vet the plans couldn’t take place before the final decision by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).
Birmingham and Liverpool in Britain who are also pushing for the 2022 Games have now risen as favorites in the race as both cities had already been preparing to bid for the 2026 Games and there are already plans and organizations in place for the task.
Victoria, Canada’s other bidder, is still interested but there is no word on whether it is confident to receive Federal and Provincial funding commitments in advance of the August deadline set by the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada (CGAC). Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in Australia and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia are also interested in bidding for the Games.