Canada Winter Games bid gets no support from Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce has said it won’t support a bid for the city to host the 2023 Canada Winter Games, and one councillor says he's frustrated by the decision.

More than half of chamber members say risks of hosting games outweigh opportunities

The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce has said it won't support a bid for the city to host the 2023 Canada Winter Games, and one councillor is calling the decision premature.

The chamber surveyed its members and more than half said the risks of holding the games outweigh the opportunities. Many also said they were worried the games could lead to an increase in taxes.

"Honestly, I was a little bit frustrated with that announcement," says city councillor Cory Vanthuyne.

A committee has been meeting regularly to discuss the feasibility of hosting the games, determine a budget and assess the risks. Vanthuyne says the chamber could have brought its concerns to the working group.

'Honestly, I was a little bit frustrated with that announcement,' says city councillor Cory Vanthuyne of the Chamber of Commerce's decision not to support Yellowknife's bid for the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

"I thought that they could've and should've come to the City of Yellowknife and in particular the working group."

Some chamber members also pointed to problems with the city's declining population, difficulty in finding enough volunteers, and having to build accommodations for athletes and visitors.

Vanthuyne says the committee could have answered any questions chamber members had. He also says the chamber's feedback would be important for the new city council chosen in the upcoming municipal election.

Early estimates put the cost of Yellowknife holding the games at $36 million. The city must make a commitment to host by the end of 2015.

Vanthuyne says the working group isn't putting a bid for the games together right now, as they're still working on the business case and cost-benefit analysis.

Some members of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce did say the city should bid for the Canada Winter Games — 29 per cent see it as a way to bring more jobs and visitors to town.


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