COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Mayor Shari Decter Hirst is joined by Jeff Cristall, bid committee chair for the Canada Games effort, in this file photo from January, when it was announced that Brandon was no longer in contention for the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
Brandon City Council will formally request a reimbursement from the province for the money it spent trying to land the 2017 Canada Summer Games.
City Coun. Stephen Montague (Richmond) wants the province to cover the $250,000 cost of the failed Canada Games bid. Council voted unanimously to support his motion. (FILE PHOTO)
The city spent roughly $250,000 on bid preparation, travelling to the Canada Games in Halifax, as well as engineering and consulting reports.
"It’s something that we’ve talked about for a while but we’ve seen a lack of action on," said Coun. Stephen Montague (Richmond). "It’s been nine months, and … approximately $250,000 isn’t anything to sneeze at, especially when we’re in a tight budget year."
Last January, the City of Brandon received the disappointing news that its bid for the Canada Summer Games had been rejected.
"We have asked that the city be reimbursed for that $250,000 and we’ll wait and see what happens with that," Decter Hirst said at the time of the rejection announcement in January.
After much work by the bid committee, the rejection was "extremely disheartening," bid committee chair Jeff Cristall said at the time.
The main reason the Canada Games Council rejected Brandon’s bid was the lack of an indoor eight-lane, 50-metre pool, which is the national standard. The Sportsplex pool has six lanes.
The City of Winnipeg has since been named the host city for the 2017 Games.
A motion put forward by Montague brought the issue of reimbursement back up for discussion.
Montague said he hopes the Manitoba government sees the merit in Brandon’s efforts, which would have benefited the province.
"Winnipeg benefits now and Manitoba benefits, but Brandon’s left with a rather sizable bill for our efforts," he said. "We’re hoping that within the Games budget, the province can find a way to help Brandon out as well, as we tried to help the province out."
The motion passed unanimously.
"If you don’t ask, you don’t get it," said Coun. Murray Blight (Victoria). "So what we’re asking is to get reimbursed the amount of money that we have spent … at least it’s on paper, at least we’d have an answer back."
Coun. John LoRegio (Meadows) asked that a copy of the approved motion be presented to Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell and Brandon West Progressive Conservative MLA Reg Helwer.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 8, 2013