Saturday, June 07, 2008

CTF Uncovers Proposed Costs for Ontario PanAM Games Big

The Ontario government has leaked to the media proposed bid costs for the PanAm Games for 2015. Costs are estimated to amount to $1.77 billion - with $1.24 billion of the costs being borne by Ontario taxpayers.

The CTF submitted a Freedom of Information request on May 20th seeking this data from the government of Ontario. In violation of the law, the government did not comply with the request but instead leaked it to the media before bothering to hand it over to the CTF. The government chose to manage its message to limit the damage such a silly request for funds would generate.

All politicians should remember that when they say that the feds should pay 35%, the province should pay 35%, and the cities and the private sector should pay 30%; they mean TAXPAYERS should pay almost 100% totaling a minimum of $1.77 billion - as if the bid will really come in on budget.

The government of Ontario is on the verge of a deficit driven by a sagging economy. Now is the wrong time to drain this kind of cash into a risky venture which will have no economic benefits. Audits of other games and bids show the only benefits such bids generate are the warm and fuzzies from hosting such cultural events.

Is now really the time for taxpayers to pony up $1.77 billion for a warm fuzzy feeling?

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