September 10, 2015 – Letter to Mayor John Tory on the proposed Olympic Bid
Mayor John Tory
City Of Toronto
Re: City of Toronto Olympic Bid
September 10, 2015
Dear Mayor Tory,
I am writing to express my deep concerns with a Toronto Olympic Bid.
Although euphoria in the beginning when it was announced had me excited I have come to realize that this move will be devastating for our City.
Olympics come with a high price tag. The last time we had the summer Olympics in Canada was 39 years ago in Montreal and it left the city with a debt of nearly US$1.48 billion.
I know firsthand the effects Olympics can have on a city and a country. Greece hosted the Olympics in 2004. Hosting the event cost almost €9 billion ($11 billion at today’s exchange rate), making the 2004 Games the most expensive ever at that point. Greek taxpayers were on the hook for €7 billion, which did not include the cost of extra projects such as a new airport and metro system.
I hear many say that we will do it differently and we will engage the 3P Principle – public-private partnership. I also hear concerns about whether there has been adequate public consultation and whether an Olympic bid is the best use of money at this time.
I am currently running a poll on my website and have received hundreds of emails on the subject.
Only 4% support an Olympic Bid the rest are totally against such a it.
Here are a few of their comments:
“If this city cannot maintain the low income housing it currently has – it is not in any position to bid for the Olympics.”
“The Olympics are too costly and the benefits over exaggerated by people who usually profit from the games. The rest of us are stuck with a huge bill that may take decades to pay off.”
“I think it would be better if the City took the funds it would spend on the Olympics and spend it all on the things Toronto truly needs : affordable housing for needy families, transit, infrastructure and such.”
Due to above concerns and many others that have come to my attention I am writing to let you know that I am not supporting an Olympic Bid for the City of Toronto at this time.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Hon. Jim Karygiannis
Councillor Ward 39