Ontario Summer Games gets no Essex County funding

Essex County council did not approve funding for the Ontario Summer Games on Wednesday.

Windsor will have to host the games itself and either cut events or find the $636,000 it wanted

Toronto FC's Adrian Cann congratulates gold medal winners, the Brampton Brams United Bandits, at the Ontario Summer Games soccer match in Toronto, Sunday, August 19, 2012. MARKETWIRE PHOTO/BMO Financial Group/BMO Bank of Montreal (MARKETWIRE)

Essex County council did not approve funding for the Ontario Summer Games on Wednesday.

It does not want to pay $636,000 to co-host the with Windsor next year.

County council voted 11-2 to deny the city's financial request, a pitch Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis personally made at county council last month.

Only the county's warden and deputy mayor of Kingsville wanted to spend the money.

Tamara Stomp, the deputy mayor of Kingsville, said the event would be an opportunity to show the world this region is the best place to invest, live and visit.

"To me, what's important is that someone took an opportunity to say that we can do it, and we've shown we can do it in many ways," Stomp said.

The other councillors gave several reasons why the county should not partner with Windsor.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya doesn't believe the county would benefit much.

"Let's not kid ourselves. It's going to be primarily in the city," he said. "If we have events in the county. they're going to be there for the event, and they're going to high-tail it back to the city."

Leamington Mayor John Paterson summed up the feeling of the majority of county councillors.

"I would simply say, 'thank you for asking, but no thanks,'" Paterson said.

Francis told CBC News he's not surprised by the decision.

He said the city took the high road by asking the county to participate as a co-host.

Francis thinks he probably would have been criticized if the city hadn't made the request.

He said a meeting will be held with the organizer of the summer games to discuss the possibility of cutting back on the number of events:

"Probably be different in size and scope, but it will be an event held in the city," Francis said.

The 2014 Ontario Summer Games are scheduled for next August.


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