City Council Executive Committee Endorses Toronto 2015 Pan Am Bid

The Toronto Sun reports that Toronto city council’s executive committee endorsed Monday Toronto’s bid for the 2015 Pan American Games although the endorsement must still be approved by the entire city council later this month.

Toronto’s Mayor David Miller said the city’s previous reluctance about the Pan Am Games was a question of funding from the other levels of government, both of which have come forward.

He said, “we’ve seen in Toronto a number of times, the World’s Fair being the most recent example, we get caught in the middle. (But) the premier has said this is a priority for the provincial government – the federal government’s come to the table.

“They’re backstopping any guarantees and I think the Pan Am Games, as opposed to perhaps the Olympics, the cost risks are much less”, he said.

The Ontario government has agreed to invest $621 million and take responsibility for any deficit, reports the Toronto Sun, while the Canadian government has pledged $500 million.

If Toronto city council endorses the bid later this month a more detailed report is expected in February.

A formal bid must be submitted to the Pan American Sports Organization by April.

But the Mayor reportedly is still cautious about the games and said there will be demands made to the games committee if the bid is successful.

Miller said he wants any venues built such as a new Olympic-sized aquatic centre, to be constructed on the prospective transit city lines to endorse those planned infrastructure projects. He also wants young people from the city’s 13 priority neighbourhoods to be involved in the bid process and the games, “so it’s not the same old consultants who get rich off the bid”.

Meanwhile the Hamilton Spectator reports the city of Hamilton, located in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, could be in line for $300 million in new construction through stadium and improvements to existing city and McMaster University facilities.

The newspaper reports if that $300 million figure holds true, Hamilton could be asked to come up with 15 to 25 per cent of the total over 10 years.