Committee rejects further study of 2024 Olympic bid for Toronto; World Expo bid carries 3-2
Published Monday, January 20, 2014 10:31AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 20, 2014 6:06PM EST
The City of Toronto's economic development committee has voted unanimously in favour of deferring any further study of submitting a bid to host 2024 Olympic Games.
Although the Olympic bid failed 5-0, the World Expo bid carried with a 3-2 vote and will go to city council for further consideration.
Speaking before the decision, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he didn't think an Olympic bid would be "a smart use of taxpayer's money."
Ford also told reporters Toronto "isn't ready" to host the Olympics.
"Let's concentrate on the Pan Am Games. That hasn't run smoothly at all. I'm worried if we can't run the Pan Am Games, how are we ever going to host the Olympics," Ford said.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly also said Monday he doesn't think the time is right for Toronto to make a bid to host the Olympics or the World Expo.
The report, prepared by the financial accounting firm Ernst and Young on feasibility of Toronto hosting the Olympics, projects the cost of submitting a formal bid to host the Summer Games could be in the range of $50- to $60-million. The cost of hosting the Olympics is estimated between $3.3- to $6.9-billion.
"Now is not the right time. We must continue to focus our energy and attention on preparing to host the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games," Kelly said in statement released Monday. "Only after the 2015 Pan Am Games can we further explore the feasibility of hosting either the Olympics or the World Expo in the future."
Toronto will host the Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games in July and August of 2015. So far, the multi-sport competition has been tainted by scandals, including the firing its CEO, Ian Troop.
Sources within TO2015, the organizing committee of the Pan Am Games, told The Canadian Press that Troop's departure in December was not unexpected, citing ongoing tensions between organizers and the province, which is responsible for the operational costs of the competition.
Toronto has never hosted the Olympics, though the city finished third behind Atlanta and Athens for the 1996 Summer Olympics, and second to Beijing for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
With files from The Canadian Press