Ontario Supports 2015 Pan American Games

The Canadian province of Ontario is backing a $1.77 billion 2015 Pan American Games bid and is now looking to the Canadian government for more support, reports the Toronto Star.

Ontario, Toronto and about a dozen municipalities in the “Golden Horseshoe” of the province are pushing for a Pan Am bid.

After officials finished looking over the business plan for the bid, a senior provincial government source told the Star “we like what we’ve seen”. The plan will now be sent to the Canadian government for review.

Under the plan there would be “four to six” new Olympic-sized pools in cities where the games would be held, stretching from Niagara, around Lake Ontario to Durham and north to the Barrie area.

According to one provincial government official the number of venues required to host the Games would be 70 or more.

Ontario government sources said a cost-sharing plan would see the province and the federal government each put up 35 per cent or $619.5 million. The city of Toronto and other municipalities hoping to host some of the 300 sporting events would pay 30 per cent or $531 million, likely with help from the private sector, reports the Star.

Toronto is reportedly willing to sign on as a main bidder as long as the provincial government picks up most of the tab. But a spokesperson for Toronto Mayor David Miller said Friday that winning federal approval for the PanAm games is the immediate goal. Don Wanagas said, “at this point talking about the funding is premature. We’re waiting to hear a response from the federal government. Once we see the business case that everybody ‘s ready to get together on this we can talk about financing”.

The Canadian Olympic Committee needs a response from the federal government by early July if it is to put the Greater Toronto Area’s name forward, reports the Star.