Federal Government Boosts Toronto’s 2008 Bid

Just days before the 2008 Olympic bid finalists are announced, the federal government has reaffirmed support for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid, saying a face lift for Toronto’s waterfront is a priority.

Federal Minister for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) David Collenette said “we felt it was important that we should reiterate our support at this time. At the same time, this affirms this government’s view that revitalization of the Toronto waterfront is a priority”.

Karen Pitre, executive vice-president of bid coordination for TO-Bid said “it’s great news, there’s no question they are ramping this up”. But she added that time is of the essence. “We need commitments by the fall to satisfy the IOC”. There’s a January 2001 deadline for technical documents, including financial commitments, from 2008 bidders.

Robert Fung, whose seven-person task force recommended a $12-billion private-public investment to revitalize the waterfront over a 20-year period, described the announcements as “very encouraging”. Assuming Toronto makes the shortlist, Fung said “the pressure now comes on the federal government to start putting meat on this”.