City council will wait until early 2021 before deciding whether Vancouver should make a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
On Wednesday evening, Vancouver City Council voted 7-4 to postpone all further discussions surrounding a possible Olympic bid until early 2021.
This additional time will allow Sport Hosting Vancouver – a municipal organization that assists in attracting major sporting events to the area – to perform preliminary analysis and allow for input from interested public speakers.
The news of the postponement was posted on social media last night by Coun. Melissa De Genova.
*BREAKING*Pre-pandemic I asked City Council to consider 2030 #Vancouver #Olympics motion.
Tonight, I asked Council for referral to staff for report back in March 2021.
✅Public can speak to Council
✅Informed decision making
✅ #COVID19 recovery opportunities#VanPoli pic.twitter.com/QTSvO28GSq
— Melissa De Genova (@MelissaDeGenova) November 5, 2020
She says the delay will allow time for a staff report on the merits of hosting the Games.
De Genova put forward her original motion earlier this year calling on council to explore the merits of an Olympic bid but the entire matter was shelved when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
If the motion is not amended following the staff report in March, De Genova hopes council will agree to write letters to the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, local First Nations and federal and provincial officials seeking input and financial backing.
Several councillors, including De Genova, are keen on exploring potential opportunities that the 2030 Games might bring Vancouver and British Columbia, as tourism has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m starting to see the benefits this may have, you know, as we look toward COVID-19 economic recovery for the city.”
As a recent host, Vancouver already has much of the infrastructure required for the Olympics.
Hosting another Games could help leverage funding for things like more affordable housing and transit expansion. If it creates another 2,500 jobs, as the 2010 Olympics did, that could be a significant economic driver, De Genova said.
“It’s our job to make sure that we leave no stone unturned when looking for opportunities for economic recovery,” she said.
De Genova also noted that 2030 was selected as a date for consideration before the pandemic and that might change. There are many unknowns without a vaccine yet for COVID-19.
Vancouver and Whistler hosted the 2010 Winter Games.
With files to Canadian Press.