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Commonwealth Games Organizers to get council grilling

The group behind Hamilton’s bid for the Commonwealth Games will get a chance to appear before Hamilton City Council in August. Hamilton’s General Issues Committee approved an amended motion from Clr. Judi Partridge that was supported by Clrs. Terry Whitehead and Esther Pauls. The decision to hear from the group did not come without some spirited debate at the meeting today. Councillor Brad Clark, said that with the large deficit the city is facing because of the COVID pandemic he could not support spending any money on the games. Councillor Brenda Johnson pointed to a MT. Hope ball diamond that is under water and had had its repairs deferred for several years as her reason for opposing the games. But Mayor Fred Eisenberger made a strong argument that councillors were digging in their heels without knowing the details of the Hamilton bid. Several councillors suggested the bid group were working on a plan that would result in no cost to the city.

PJ Mercanti, the Chair of the  Hamilton100 Bid Corporation, provided council with a letter from the Canadian Commonwealth Games Federation that said in essence, it has granted Hamilton first call on both the 2026 Games and the 2030 games. At the moment the 2026 games have become something of an orphan as no Canadian city has expressed interest in hosting those games. Calgary took a look at bidding on 2026, but halted the process when it was clear there would not be sufficient financial support from the Alberta and Federal governments. The letter went on to say that should the 2030 games go to another country, which would be the result of Hamilton hosting the 2026 games, “CSC will advocate for a linkage between the City of Hamilton and the host city of the 100th Anniversary 2030 Commonwealth Games that pays homage to the City of Hamilton as the birthplace of the Commonwealth Games and Bobby Robinson as its founder.”

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