Volume 94, Issue 65

Thursday, January 18, 2001


NEWS

USC gets mixed reviews - Ad Hoc committee makes recommendations

T.O. Olympic bid gets debt support

Affiliates present "responsible" motion

Braun addresses performance of USC

New screening tool to detect abuse

Briefs

Planet Me

T.O. Olympic bid gets debt support

By Adam Stewart
Gazette Staff



Toronto's bid for the 2008 Olympic games has crossed a major hurdle, now that the City and the Ontario government have made an agreement on how a potential deficit would be handled.

"The agreement spells out the conditions under which Ontario agrees to provide financial backing in the event the Toronto bid is successful," said Christian Bode, spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

According to Bode, the agreement serves two functions. First, it guarantees the availability of funds for the bid. Second, it provides a set of assurances to the province by ensuring taxpayers are protected from the misuse of funds by the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.

Bode added the agreement allows the province to designate six members to the OCOG as a mechanism for ensuring the money is being used appropriately and there will not be a deficit.

Ray Macneil, spokesperson for the Toronto Olympic office at City Hall, said taxpayers should not be concerned about shouldering a large financial burden from the event. "There are no guarantees, but we are putting together a plan which is minimizing the risk. If there is [a deficit], it won't be unmanageable.

"This is very important for Toronto business and for the [International Olympic Committee] perception that the government supports our bid," he said, adding it is becoming increasingly common for state or provincial governments to form partnerships with cities for Olympic bids. "The IOC looks for cities with that kind of back-up."

"This is a great initiative of two governments coming together on a single program," said Deborah Allen, executive director of communication for the Canadian Olympic Association.

"[The agreement is] not a liability to the taxpayers. All it shows is the city has the backing of the province," Allen said.

The provincial government has already committed $500 million towards re-development of the city's waterfront in an effort to make the Toronto bid more attractive.

The final decision for the host city for the 2008 Olympic Games will be announced on July 13, Allen added.


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