Ontario Premier Pitches 2015 Pan Am Bid In Mexico

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty arrived in Mexico Thursday to officially launch Ontario’s 2015 Pan Am Games bid, calling it crucial that the province comes away with a win.

He said prior to leaving, “it’s very important for us to get out there and to be seen to be competing as hard as we can and to bring home a prize. It will create a stronger amateur sports culture in this province, and will also help Ontarians – and Torontonians in particular – believe in themselves. We’re going after this and we’re going to win this because we need this.

The $1.77 billion bid reportedly involves Toronto and at least 11 other municipalities throughout the province’s Golden Horseshoe.

McGuinty said a winning bid would act as a catalyst for huge improvements to amateur sports infrastructure in Ontario, including some badly needed new facilities.

He added a winning Pan Am bid would also mean far more opportunities for young Ontario residents to become Olympic-calibre athletes.

If the bid is successful the province is paying any cost overruns but the federal government has reportedly trimmed its promised support from $650 million to $500 million. McGuinty said he isn’t worried about being left with a huge bill after the Games are over. “We have learned a lot from previous experiences when it comes to these international sporting events and I’m confident that we know how to manage these costs”.

Former Ontario Premier David Peterson is heading the bid.