Friday , January 15 2021

The organizers of "Francophone Games" defend the $ 130 million cost forecast



Some more details about the expected $ 130 million cost of hosting the Francophone Games in 2021 came out on Monday.

The organizers said at a press conference late in the afternoon that the budget was paid to the province, federal and municipal governments included operating costs of $ 84 million, $ 36 million for infrastructure and $ 10 million for event security.

The Commission is under pressure to explain the surge in the budget to $ 130 million from $ 17 million just two years ago when Dieppe and Moncton were selected to host the international event.

Games are expected to attract more than 4,000 athletes and artists to host cities.

Éric Mathieu Doucet, chairman of the board of directors of the organizing committee, told reporters that the current committee should not be blamed for incredible costs.

"We were not responsible for the budget," he said, saying the decision was taken in 2015 by an earlier Candidate Committee set up by the province with civil servants and community volunteers. These volunteers included Doucet and Éric Larocque, who are now the Executive Director of the Organizing Committee.

"We were not responsible for writing the budget," Duse said.

Éric Larocque, Managing Director of the Organizing Committee for Francophone Games for 2021, says infrastructure requests have grown since the initial cost estimate was developed. (Shane Magee / CBC)

"I can say that this is the former government that has submitted an offer for the francophone," Ducce said when asked if the former Gallic government was responsible for the lower bid.

Larocky said last week that the $ 17 million bid was based on a proposed financial framework in the leadership of the International Organization of Francophone Games. The $ 130 million cost, he explained, is a complete business plan that was not required by the commission to present as part of its offer.

The actual business plan submitted to federal, provincial and host municipalities on March 30, 2018 has not yet been published.

The federal government also hired an independent consultant to review the plans. This report was handed over to the province and federal governments a week before the provincial elections on September 24, commission members said on Monday.

Provincia will not issue a report

The CCB requested a report from the province, which said late Monday afternoon, that it would not release it because it was a federal document.

Of infrastructure spending, Doucet said $ 24 million is considered necessary. This is despite previous statements that the "beauty" of the offer is that the Games will use the existing infrastructure.

The Committee, when submitting its funding request, puts items in one of the three columns: "Essential to gaming", "Desirable" and "Useful and enjoyable."

Larake said the main expenses include money for new football playgrounds, renovation of tennis courts at Centennial Park in Moncton and repair of the track at the University of Moncton Stadium.

In 2015, the stadium at the University of Montton hosted the FIFA World Cup of Women. (SBU)

The capital budget of Moncton for 2019 includes $ 5.1 million for artificial fields at CN Sportsplex as the city hopes to receive $ 3.7 million paid by other levels of government.

Doucet said the cost had risen after the offer was submitted.

"When we were done, we went to the information we had," Dusey said. He said that since then, FIFA and other sports organizations have assessed the facilities.

We ask Deputy Prime Minister Robert Gauvin on how the province will cope with the large increase in the expected costs of hosting the francophone games. 13:03

Already on Monday, Robert Gauvin, the deputy prime minister of the province, confirmed that New Brunswick would not spend more than $ 10 million for the Games.

"We have to find ways to reduce the cost of games," he said.

The federal government has said it will stick to its commitment to cover half the cost.

The chairman of the board of directors will not comment on whether the Games can still be held at a lower price.

The pull is not considered

The province has not signed a contract to accept the Games. Provincial spokesperson Stephanie Billode said it is still possible to get away from the hosting.

"But this is not an option that the government is considering at this time," he said.


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