New Brunswick almost refused to host the 2029 Canadian Games

For several months, government officials have worked hard to demonstrate the importance of hosting the event.

On Wednesday, the government of New Brunswick confirmed that it had agreed to host the Canadian Games in the summer of 2029. It is the largest multi-sport event in the country with 2000 athletes in about 20 sports.

While on social media government ministers Higgs therefore pleased with the announcement of the upcoming Canadian Games in New Brunswick, behind the scenes the same cabinet had doubts about the idea of ​​hosting such an event, according to what Radio-Canada has learned.

The calendar of the Games in Canada is scheduled to rotate between the provinces and territories for these competitions. Summer 2029 was the reserved date for New Brunswick.

But sources have indicated that the specter of the Higgs government’s cancellation of the 2021 Francophonie Games still seems big, and many questions have been raised about the true costs of hosting.

What’s more, the feeling of uncertainty seemed strong enough for the cities of Trois-Rivières and Shawinigan in Quebec to come together to prepare a candidature file for the 2029 Games in case New Brunswick fails.

We get regular calls from people in New Brunswick.confirms Claude Villemuir, president of the bid committee in Mauricy. We raised our hands to say that we are interested. It was done with all due respect.

He answers the reporter's questions.

Claude Villemur is an entrepreneur and restaurateur from Shawinigan, Quebec. He was president of the bid for the Morishi Games.

Photo: Radio Canada

At that time, Mr. Villemuir contacted Yukon to test the waters for a possible participation in the presentation of the 2027 Summer Games.

Then the businessman heard a noise from Fredericton about the slowness of procedures.

It has reached the ears of some people. We had contacts. We even have friends in New Brunswick who keep us updated and say yes, in the (New Brunswick) government people are talking. »

Quote from Claude Wilmur

Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture of New Brunswick, Tammy Scott Wallacerefutes this information.

I don’t know where it comes fromshe argues.

If there were no problems, then why would serious businessmen and recognized athletes in Morishi devote so much time to the application? The minister doesn’t know what to say and says he doesn’t know what Quebec is doing.

Tammy Scott-Wallace gives an interview.

Tammy Scott-Wallace, New Brunswick Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.

Photo: Radio Canada

However, New Brunswick government sources told Radio Canada that the Cabinet presentations were disappointing at times and that the talk focused mostly on existing infrastructure rather than the concept of hosting the Games and developing the sport.

These sources are not authorized to communicate with the media. They still allow us to shed light on the decision-making process behind the scenes.

Two of them told us that the Higgs government does not want to experience the fiasco of the 2021 Francophonie Games.

The organization’s budget has increased dramatically, according to Blaine Higgsin December 2018. Spending has increased along the way, especially in the area of ​​infrastructure.

Tammy Scott Wallace denies there was talk of being withdrawn from the Games in Canada. But she admits she has asked her ministry’s Sports and Recreation Authority for more time to assess the situation more closely.

The crowd watches the players on the football field.

The Université de Moncton stadium is included in the list of venues for the 2029 Games.

Photo: Radio Canada / Jean-Philippe Hughes

I suppose it was an opportunity to take stock of these objects.protected by the minister. I guess the checks were needed more than anything else.

Technically, the province is on track with the Canadian Games Board. New Brunswick had until March 31 to respond, confirms Kelly Ann Paul, CEO of the Council.

In my opinion, the government was in no hurry to make a decision.she explains. To be honest, we’re happy with the process that the government of New Brunswick is following. The finances were also confirmed on time.

Small budget, small ambitions

The budget for the 2029 Games is $39 million for organization and infrastructure.

New Brunswick will donate $10.35 million, the federal government will contribute $13.24 million, and the region or host city will contribute $16 million.

The amount of the federal subsidy is surprising to Claude Villemuir, who thinks New Brunswick has played its cards well.

According to our checks, the federal government has provided about $11 million during recent releases.

2031, le gouvernement (fédéral) était pour augmenter les subventions de beaucoup (pour les Jeux)”,”text”:”À un moment donné, j’ai trouvé ça brillant, parce que la rumeur qui circulait, c’est que, en2031, le gouvernement (fédéral) était pour augmenter les subventions de beaucoup (pour les Jeux)”}}”>At one point I thought that was brilliant, because there were rumors that in 2031 the (federal) government was supposed to increase subsidies to many (for the Games).he explains.

So what happened to my ears is that New Brunswick made them hesitate…think if we wait a little, we’ll get a lot more help than if we took it right away.he considers.

For comparison, the budget for the 2013 Summer Games in Sherbrooke (a city the size of Moncton) was $50 million.

Opening ceremony for the 2013 Canadian Games in Sherbrooke.

The Canadian Summer Games were held in Sherbrooke in 2013. After filing the balance sheet, a deficit of $364,000 was recorded.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissino

The budget for the 2023 Winter Games in Prince Edward Island is $54 million, including $11 million from the federal government.

Money, organizational nerve

Swimmers in the Pan Am pool

In 2017, the Canada Games Pool in Winnipeg was renovated.

Photo: Travis Golby/CBC

Cities such as Winnipeg and Niagara have taken advantage of the sight of the Games to improve or build new sports infrastructure. The bill was then paid equally by the three levels of government.

At the moment, New Brunswick is not facing the issue of financing the construction of new sports facilities.

If necessary, the organizer of the Games will have to draw funds from a predetermined budget, unless the money can be found elsewhere.

Host city or region?

Bicycles follow each other on a hill.

The 2029 Games can be hosted in a single city, region, or decentralized across provinces.

Photo: Radio Canada/Mathieu Bernier

Several times during the interview, the minister Scott Wallace says a lot about collaboration. Does this mean that a joint application between several cities should be expected?

I don’t want to judgeshe said. But, for example, not all cities have an Olympic swimming pool.. She adds that events for the 2023 Prince Edward Island Games will take place at Mount Crabbe in Fredericton.

The venue for the 2029 Games will be determined in 2025, just 4 years before the start of the event. Applications will begin in 2023.

By comparison, the February 2003 Winter Games in the Restigos and Chaler regions took place in April 1997.

Kelly Ann Paul confirms that confirmation from the receiving region is on schedule. Board happy with processshe said. There will be enough time to prepare.

Economic benefits range from $90 million to $110 million depending on the host region.