Hosting 2026 Games will bring major benefits to B.C. ?
We neither support or oppose the region hosting any mega sporting event such as the 2026 Commonwealth Games.
But we believe before a billion plus dollars is spent – mostly taxpayer dollars – that all the facts including costs, benefits, obligations and risks for such a large-scale event must be on the table for residents to consider. There must also be a rigorous business plan made public and critiqued by an independent third-party.
That didn’t happen a few years ago when a Commonwealth Games bid was floated, rather initial support was garnered in secret around the Capital Regional District table and endorsed without the public weighing in. The province wisely declined to provide financial support and eventually the bid fell apart.
Contrary to the pitch by proponents, municipalities and local citizens will most certainly have to fund part of the budget. The pandemic, and now uncertainty around several COVID variants, have resulted in extremely challenging and uncertain economic times with many critical and competing priorities. All of us will indirectly pay through taxes as residents of B.C. and Canada.
Any dream of bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games must be done with full transparency and first be approved by residents through a regional plibiscite.
Examine Commonwealth Games risks carefully, Times Colonist commentary, June 21, 2017.