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Hamilton Commonwealth Games bid receives renewed council support

Hamilton Commonwealth Games bid receives renewed council support

Hamilton’s 2030 Commonwealth Games bid received another boost with the approval of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and Hamilton 100, the private sector consortium which is managing the bid process. A big part of the City’s obligation will be to actively advocate with senior governments for financial support. The document will take effect later this week. Written into the new MOU is a clause that makes it clear the city is not legally bound by its provisions. While the Hamilton 100 bid does not require the City to contribute any money for facilities, the agreement acknowledges that Hamilton “may be a financial contributor towards the planning, delivery and legacies of the 2030 Commonwealth Games.” Questioned on that point Hamilton 100 spokesperson P.J. Mercanti said the clause pertains strictly to events that the city may undertake in hosting the games, leaving open the possibility, that if Hamilton wins the games, it may wish to invest in legacy projects like affordable housing as an example.

Bryan MacPherson, the head of Commonwealth Sport Canada, participated in the meeting. He assured Councillor Tom Jackson that his organization was fully committed to the 2030 Hamilton Bid. Numerous delegations, representing local amateur sporing organizations made presentations in support of continuing the bid. Lou Frapporti of Hamilton 100 said discussions with the provincial minister responsible for sport had taken place before the election, and will continue now that Hamilton’s Neil Lumsden has been handed the portfolio.

Councillors praised the bid group for sticking with the project over the past several years. The approval of the MOU passed by a vote of 12-2 with Councillors Danko and Nann voting against. Danko said there were too many unanswered questions, that council was reacting to  “emotional marketing,” as he put it. “The bare minimum that I want to be able to answer tot the taxpayers I represent is to be able to say, ‘this is what we’re going to do, this is how we are going to do it, and this is how much it’s going to cost, and today I cannot do that.”

Carrie Brooks-Joiner, the Director of Tourism and Culture, reminded council that the MOU is non-binding and that the process provides several “off-ramps” as the process unfolds.

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