‘Let the dust settle’ from Pan Am Games before Olympic bid decision: Tory
TORONTO — John Tory says he needs to hear from a variety of voices to decide whether Toronto should place a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, adding that he wants to “let the dust settle” from the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games first.
Tory said at an announcement Monday that he wants to engage in “broad consultation” with members of City Council, the public, the business community, the labour movement and sports organizations to see if support is in favour of a bid — but only after the Parapan Am Games have completed.
“What we’re doing now is letting the dust settle from a very successful set of Pan American Games, making sure we are equally successful with the Parapan Games, then engaging in a careful analysis of all of the facts and figures to do with those Games and whatever we know about what’s involved in a future Olympic bid, if there’s to be one,” he said.
“There is obviously the need for me to consult with the other governments. They would be indispensable players in any major initiative we undertake, whether it’s a transit initiative, or an international event … No such event can be put on in this city without their very active partnership, including money.”
Tory said “we’re way ahead of ourselves now” with regard to the bid, but added he was going to consult with major stakeholders for the proposed event and come to decision based on input from all levels of government as well.
“They say it’s not a good time to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. And in the euphoria of what were a tremendously successful Games and I`m hugely enthused about how the city responded and the great buzz that was in the city,” Tory said.
“This is a serious, rational decision that has to be made. It will be made on a serious, rational decision with lots of consultation, and that’s the way we’ll do this.”
The Pan Am Games have revived talk of a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, with both the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee calling for Toronto to make a pitch.
COC president Marcel Aubut said Sunday his office will “lead and advocate for Toronto’s candidacy for the 2024 Olympic Games.”
“I will work closely with the City of Toronto,” said Aubut. “Nothing can be done without the mayor, without the city. You need a mayor to start the process.”
The Pan Ams paved the way for an Olympic bid, said Aubut.
READ MORE: As Pan Am Games end, Toronto’s Olympic push begins
“This is the momentum we needed to talk seriously about this,” he said.
The deadline for cities to register their interest with the International Olympic Committee is Sept. 15, with the winning city to be chosen in 2017.
Toronto has officially bid and lost twice, most recently for the 2008 Summer Games. Officials also discussed possible bids on three other occasions.
Saad Rafi, CEO of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games organizing committee, said the organizing committee should have a “rough estimate” of its final budget before the bid deadline.
Capital infrastructure spending has come in about $53.5 million under budget, largely because bidding for major venues was done four to five years ago, organizers said. But the bulk of the operating expenses will be paid after the event because financial reporting follows the fiscal year.
READ MORE: Toronto councillor suggests bi-national 2024 Olympic bid
Organizers said in May they had spent about 45 per cent of their $770-million operations budget.
“It’s our objective to be balanced on the operating side or to save some money,” he said Sunday.
Most of the Pan Am Games’ $2.5-billion budget comes from the federal, provincial and Toronto governments, with ticket sales expected to cover about $40 million.
By: Adam Miller