Committee debates Toronto’s potential Olympic bid
By Alexis MacDonald
The third time could be a charm for Toronto as the city’s Economic Development committee debates a possible bid for the 2024 summer Olympics.
The Canadian Olympic Committee said their main priority “right now” is the Sochi 2014 Olympic games.
“Building on our tremendous successes we continue to promote Canada as a host nation for a wide range [of] international sport events,” the Canadian Olympic Committee said in an email to Humber News.
According to a report done by Ernst and Young, a formal bid for the Olympics could cost anywhere from $50 million to $60 million.
Toronto lost the bid for the Olympic games in 1996 and 2008.
Some Torontonians think the money for the Olympic bid could be better spent on other things.
— Sam Katz (@SamJKatz) January 20, 2014
@680News no thanks, rather put that money back into our aging infrastructure and poor educational system.
— Omer Mohammed (@omerfiasco) January 17, 2014
@CityNews Toronto can’t afford the Olympics. We have other things more important to deal with.
— Daniella M (@EllasUmbrella) December 4, 2013
“We have a lot of concerns about social costs; we have concerns about environmental costs but also of course financial costs,” said Michael Shapcott, member of the Bread Not Circuses – a group of activists known for arguing that the money spent on Toronto’s unsuccessful bid for the 1996 summer Olympics could have been spent elsewhere.
Shapcott says money spent on Olympic games can better be used on programs like affordable housing, transportation and child care services.
“We are sure that if there was some serious attempt to form a bid committee that there would also be a very serious response in terms of organizations that would insist that there be a full open and democratic public debate,” said Shapcott.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly told reporters this morning at city hall that “now is not the time” to consider an Olympic bid.
Ford also told reporters he wants to focus on the 2015 Pan Am games.
The upcoming Sochi games are expected to be the most expensive Olympics yet at an estimated $50 billion.