The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) via conference call Friday on Toronto bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, voted unanimously to give COC president Marcel Aubut authorization to sign off on an application letter. The session was comprised of the heads of various national sport organizations, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members and representatives of the athletes’ council.
To confirm the bid, the letter must be co-signed by Toronto Mayor John Tory and sent by next Tuesday to meet the September 15 deadline.
Earlier in the week Tory said the “letter of interest” was merely that – an application without any firm commitment allowing his to seek approvals at a later date. However Aubut later responded that once the letter is sent, the IOC and COC will expect the city to follow through with its plans to bid.
COC spokesman Carl Vallee said it was simply the next step in the process. He said, “the Canadian Olympic Committee has been crystal clear in its intention to be a lead advocate and prepare for a possible 2024 Olympic bid”.
He added that Friday’s vote recognizes the tremendous opportunity a bid would represent for a world-class city like Toronto and for the future of sport in Canada.
“That said, the mayor has also been clear that no decision has been made as of now”, said Vallee.
Meanwhile Mississauga, a municipality adjacent to Toronto, said they have no interest in supporting Toronto if it decides to bid. City councillors were concerned about the cost of the bid and the fact that there wasn’t much support from its constituents.
Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who is now a city councillor, voiced his concerns against a Toronto bid. He said in a news release, “I cannot emphasize enough how bad of an idea this is. There were multiple instances of cost overruns with the (Pan Am) Games we just hosted, and we still don’t have the final price tag yet. We also don’t know whether all these brand new facilities, built with billions of hard earned taxpayer dollars, will even meet Olympic standards”.
Should Toronto bid for the 2024 Olympic Games?
- Yes (50%)
- No (47%)
- Not Sure (4%)
Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam expressed her frustration with the ongoing plans and wrote in her newsletter Thursday “I am deeply concerned over the lack of genuine public consultation. the lack of rigorous evaluation of the costs and benefits, and the lack of a clear case for how an Olympic Games bid will strengthen our city.”
“As it stands, I do not support a bid for the 2024 Olympic Games bid – it is too rushed, and there are too many unanswered questions.”
Los Angeles, Paris, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest have already formally informed the IOC of their intention to bid, the winner will be elected September 2017 in Lima, Peru.