LETTER: Games too costly to local taxpayers

I read with interest David Black’s commentary about the possible hosting of the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

It was interesting to note that he wanted the B.C. and federal governments to provide money for this venture. Meanwhile he also indicated that municipalities and local citizens will not have to pay for these games. Not too sure if he understands where provincial and federal tax dollars come from. He also commented that the proposed 2026 Games will be more profitable than the 1994 Games were. When various levels of government are asked to pay for events like this they are considered a government subsidy not a profit.

Instead of exploring the reuse of many of Victoria’s existing facilities, he proposes to build another big competition swimming pool, cycling track, ice arena and the like. Last time I looked there is a major ice arena in Victoria, at least three in Vancouver and one in nearby Abbotsford. After the Games he proposes to turn the various facilities over to municipalities and universities for “free.” Who will then pay for their ongoing subsidized operating costs? Gee, municipalities and local citizens.

Another point he tries to make is an increase in tourism by at least 10 per cent based on the hosting of such Games. It would be interesting to see where he got that figure from as no source was mentioned in his piece.

It is nice to be able to brainstorm some ideas in the paper like this for our post COVID-19 recovery period. A more realistic approach, however, to what actually might be needed would be a nice change of pace for the weary taxpayer.

Vince Kreiser

North Saanich