Whitehorse Daily Star

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Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod

Clarification needed on bid to host Games:Yukon Party

The Yukon Party official Opposition is asking the Liberal government to provide an update on plans and costs for its bid to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games (CWG) in Whitehorse.

By Whitehorse Star on August 12, 2022

The Yukon Party official Opposition is asking the Liberal government to provide an update on plans and costs for its bid to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games (CWG) in Whitehorse.

The request follows a CBC Yukon interview with Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn, which aired Monday.

“During the interview, the minister suggested that the costs to hold the CWG were becoming unmanageable, and raised the idea that hosting them may be out of reach for smaller jurisdictions,” the Yukon Party said.

“In March, the minister of Community Services told media (the Star) that the Games would cost more than $100 million to stage and should come close to breaking even.

“Later, he admitted that the CWG “may be $50 million; it may be $150 million; I’m not sure. One hundred million seemed like a reasonable estimate to answer a reporter’s question.”

The Yukon Party added, “By not taking the CWG seriously and fumbling the file, the minister now appears to be putting the Games at risk.”

“Since last year, the minister of Community Services has been adamant that his government is prepared to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games, and even $150 million was a possible cost he was prepared to spend,” said Watson Lake MLA Patti McLeod, the party’s community services critic.

“However, he continues to be inconsistent with his information on files, and now appears to be backtracking in his recent statements.

“We’re now asking the government to provide an update on plans for the Yukon to host the Games and what is the current estimated cost.”

Since the former Stan McCowan Arena in Porter Creek has been deconstructed since the city hosted the 2007 Games, a replacement, costing scores of millions of dollars, would be a requirement for the 2027 Games.

As well, any new CWG infrastructure would need to host national test events at least one year prior to competition.

That planning requires local sports associations to bid for national sports events, the official Opposition noted, so any infrastructure needs completion before the spring of 2026.

Currently, none of the new infrastructure has been budgeted in the government’s five-year capital concept, nor has it formally been made public, the party added.

“Yukon athletes, parents, and businesses who are already looking ahead to the Games deserve to have clear answers from the Liberal government,” McLeod said.

The Star asked cabinet communications staff about the Yukon Party’s concerns and its request for an update, and received this brief emailed response 
Thursday afternoon:

“We are focused on continuing to work with our partners, including the City of Whitehorse and the Canada Winter Games Bid Committee, to prepare to bring the 2027 Canada Winter Games to the Yukon.”

Comments (6)

Up 9 Down 2

Apex Parasite on Aug 17, 2022 at 6:57 am

Ya gotta wonder, as a species, where our priorities lie. I mean being a fast runner is a point of pride and perhaps wellness and a friendly footrace is undeniably fun. Being able to throw a ball accurately and with force is also fun. For me the fun gets tarnished when we have these talks of huge expenditures that revolve around this kid being able to run faster than that kid. I get it, there are many benefits for the kid in bolstering self confidence and self worth but ya gotta wonder....couldn't those qualities come about via some other means that pays a little more homage to reality? The reality in question being that we are largely a welfare territory that depends on transfer payments of other peoples money.

On a larger scale, professional sports for as an example, so much energy, time, money is focused on the ability to throw a ball far. Masses of people all focused on their favorite player, sport, nation, division....I get it but I don't get it. It seems divisive at it's base. My nation is better than your nation....the canucks suck...football is cool, soccer is stupid. We all ripping thru space on a chunk of rock, perhaps an eyeblink away from some random mass extinction event or other threat to our survival and we all focus on shooting a hard rubber puck into a net....but I digress...

How can we be talking about spending tens upon tens of millions of dollars to host some sporting event only to be left with the O&M of large facilities after the fact? It is like my neighbor, upon seeing that I am on hard times, gives me a cord of wood that should last me a month as heat for my cabin and then I host a huge party and burn the cord in one night in a bonfire only to be broke and cold again the next day. I mean what is his problem.....I invited him to the party...

Up 19 Down 4

North_of_60 on Aug 16, 2022 at 1:20 pm

Why should we spend any money on a two week sports party that only benefits hospitality businesses and junk-food sellers?

Up 20 Down 3

MITCH on Aug 16, 2022 at 8:27 am

From what I've seen, the nonsense in town really dialed up since the last Canada Winter games and that moneysucking games center in one of the most inaccessible corners of this weirdly shaped town. Not so convinced another games within 25 years is smart on any level. Especially with people in recuperation mode financially and economically. Live within your means COW, or perhaps you tax us too much, because we are living within ours and you mock it weekly.


Up 16 Down 5

Games Liberals play… Take it or you leave it… If I promise you the moon and the stars would you believe it… on Aug 15, 2022 at 8:15 pm

And here we have it people… Liberals playing games with your money… Now they’re just goofing you! They want others to play games with your money too.

Up 17 Down 28

Nathan Living on Aug 13, 2022 at 1:28 am

Why do we have to pay anything to host these games.
Let's have another look and perhaps limit a potential deficit to 10 million max.

And of course we have to get the City to get snow removal sorted out by 2027 and the Centre of Hope disaster has to get dealt with as well prior to the winter of 2027.

I want to see the games happen but feel uncomfortable spending federal transfer payments as if it's tax money free of debt.
Good news may be a better Mayor and council between now and 2027. Yukon Liberal Party is doing well in my opinion.

Up 58 Down 14

John on Aug 12, 2022 at 2:51 pm

Right ! We have to remember there is a pot of gold and an endless source of it. What's 150 million - hell it likely will be 200 million before a brick is laid. It is time to cut our losses and get the hell out. In the end it will be like the CWG building - an albatross thrown around the Whitehorse taxpayers' neck. Yet another huge link in the anchor.

Spend, spend, spend. It just never stops.

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