London ball

Vancouver council votes to support Indigenous-led 2030 Olympic bid

Squamish, Lil’wat, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam chiefs tell committee that backing bid is an opportunity to act on reconciliation commitments

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VANCOUVER — A bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics in British Columbia has taken another step forward after a majority of Vancouver council members voted Wednesday to continue supporting the Indigenous-led initiative.

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The 9-2 decision comes despite a staff report which raised red flags over finances and a timetable which was “not achievable”.

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said after the vote that the council had made the very important decision to continue working with host nations.

“I would call it the end of phase 1. We all decided it was worth exploring,” he told the media.

The next steps are to secure the commitment of the federal and provincial governments as partners and then sign a multiparty agreement to form the basis of any bid, Stewart said.

“The ball is in their court now.”

Prior to the vote, the council rejected a proposed council amendment. Colleen Hardwick will add the candidacy to the ballot in the October municipal elections to gauge community interest.

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“We are the city of reconciliation, and we accept that, but that doesn’t exclude our responsibility to our electorate,” Hardwick said.

The amendment was defeated, with Stewart saying it would undermine “reconciliation efforts on this project”.

The chiefs of the four host nations, Squamish, Lil’wat, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam, appeared before a standing committee on Wednesday, saying supporting the Indigenous-led bid is an opportunity to act on the government’s commitments to reconciliation .

Musqueam leader Wayne Sparrow asked council members to “get in the canoe” with the nations so their efforts are not wasted.

Asked at the meeting about the possibility of a plebiscite on hosting the Games, Sparrow said it would kill the bid.

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“It would stop him in his tracks,” he said.

I think today just united us even stronger

The city’s report, released this week ahead of the meeting, said the schedule proposed by the Canadian Olympic Committee was “not feasible”. He said a decision to approve the offer should only come after full details of the financial, operational and governance models have been provided.

After the vote, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Jen Thomas said the report had been a “punch in the gut”.

“It was a rock in our canoe. We almost flipped (but) we’re now back together, supporting each other, and I think today just brought us together even stronger in this canoe, paddling forward,” she said. declared. “Of course it slowed us down a bit, but it made us stronger at the same time.”

Vancouver’s decision comes after Whistler council voted unanimously in favor of the bid on Tuesday.

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However, Mayor Jack Crompton told the meeting that details were yet to be confirmed.

“I’m not sure our organization can say no to this invitation, and I couldn’t receive this invitation with more enthusiasm,” Crompton said during the board meeting. “We are privileged to be able to participate with these four host nations.”

The nations said earlier this month that the estimated cost of hosting the Games could range from $3.5 billion to $4 billion, in a mix of public and private funds.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said the bid still needs to be approved by the federal and provincial governments before being finalized next February.

The International Olympic Committee is expected to award the Games in late May or early June next year.

Three cities have indicated they will bid for the 2030 Games: Sapporo, Japan, Salt Lake City and Vancouver.


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