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Why is it that John Tory alone gets to decide whether we bid for the Olympics or not?

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
WTF!? There is no reliable data to prove if would benefit the city in any way. Most of the Council seems against submitting a bid. Everyone I know doesn't want the Olympics here...

Yet somehow, the Mayor is the only one that can decide whether we submit a bid or not. How did that even happen?

Is Olympic bidding one of the Mayor of Toronto's key responsibilities of office? Is that enshrined in some document somewhere? Or are the weaselly politicians making shit up again.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Haha I love how crotchety you're getting. Your political posts are like part hippie/part sun editorial/part cynical, jaded "crotchety" old man

Oh those politicians!! <shakes fist angrily!>
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Anyway fear not, we don't live in a dystopian Brave New world, from a recent Globe and Mail article:

- Province and City both have to agree
- "If Mr. Tory decides to move forward with an expression of interest by Sept. 15, city council would still have to vote to approve an official bid."

Don't worry, this isn't Uzbekistan, there's some process involved here because we live in Canada!
 

Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
If there was a time to put in a bid, would it not be now? We just plugged in huge infrastructure investments for the Pan-Am games. And, didn't the IOC loosen requirements so as to not create such a financial burden on hosting cities?

Plus for anyone desiring significant improvements to Toronto public transit, being an Olympics host would be a catalyst of that.
 
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
I'd rather not bid for the Olympics simply so I don't have to hear Torontonians moan, bitch and complain about it for the next 4 years. 9 years if we somehow win them.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
If there was a time to put in a bid, would it not be now? We just plugged in huge infrastructure investments for the Pan-Am games. And, didn't the IOC loosen requirements so as to not create such a financial burden on hosting cities?

Plus for anyone desiring significant improvements to Toronto public transit, being an Olympics host would be a catalyst of that.
Ya I guess I'm finding it hard to care so much?

I see arguments on both sides - but seems that opposition to games a bit reflexive, but its not like we have a whole lot of success stories so the cynicism is likely warranted.

If we decided to go for the games i probably won't care that much

if we dont, I probably wont care that much - the transit argument is appealing to me tho!
 

diablo

TRIBE Member
Plus for anyone desiring significant improvements to Toronto public transit, being an Olympics host would be a catalyst of that.
I find it amusing when people list some nebulous transit improvements as a reason for holding the Olympics. Whatever the political reason that ends up pushing transit improvements through, we still have to pay for it! The IOC isn't going to buy Toronto a downtown relief line!

Better to build transit properly, with significant provoncial and federal funding, than to jumble it up with a giant Olympics tab and end up holding the bag for the whole thing.
 

ndrwrld

TRIBE Member
the traffic situation would be a fucking nightmare. the TTC and GO are spotty at best, on a good day. roads and highways are a joke.

just not ready.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
If there was a time to put in a bid, would it not be now? We just plugged in huge infrastructure investments for the Pan-Am games. And, didn't the IOC loosen requirements so as to not create such a financial burden on hosting cities?

Plus for anyone desiring significant improvements to Toronto public transit, being an Olympics host would be a catalyst of that.
Agreed. When they had the Olympics here, Boris Johnson was finally able to build the cable car that London's transport network desperately needed, and that practically nobody ever uses (well to be fair it had 4 regular commuters who used it last year) between Greenwich and the royal docks at a low public contribution cost of £24million! transport has never been better! Thanks Olympics!
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
Better to build transit properly, with significant provoncial and federal funding, than to jumble it up with a giant Olympics tab and end up holding the bag for the whole thing.
I guess this is the idea, the feds and province would have the impetus to step up to the plate and fund it more properly - but critics would be *absolutely* correct that they should step up, ANYWAY, regardless of what happens with the Olympics.

A pragmatic person may still consider this an appealing aspect of the Olympics, recognizing it as a "forcer" into this condition since our pols lack the political will to take care of transit in the GTA properly and fund it to the extent other great municipal transit systems are funded by higher levels of government pretty much everywhere else in North America!
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
To be clear:

Tory has the authority to sign the "Expression of Interest" letter only which is what is due by September 15th.

Actual Bid would have to go to City Council and the Province for a vote.

Bid costs are usually paid by Corporate Sponsors so if we go forward with a bid there is not really any financial impact to the city unless we actually win.

I like the idea of the Olympics coming here but not the reality. If it came to a referendum I would vote against it for this bid. I actually think it would be harmful to infrastructure development because what is required for Transit for an Olympic investment is not usually the same as what we actually need a a city. For example the DRL would do nothing for the Olympics so I don't see how getting the Olympics would get that done.

Maybe a future bid but not this one.

I want to see us get some smaller Sporting events: cycling now that we have the velodrome, FIBA events now that we are becoming a basketball mecca etc.
 

wickedken

TRIBE Member
Don't worry he's such a good mayor that he will listen to everyone and to have something to rest his laurels on before he makes a decision. Some people will definitely be satisfied!
 
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tobywan

TRIBE Member
I'm baffled as to how people can't see that the Olympics is just a bottomless pit of taxpayer dollars to ballwash private corporations.

Are you willingly ignorant, or just ignorant ignorant? Or you know and just can't help but wave your pom poms and cheerlead?

Don't get me wrong, I love my sports, but logic and common sense have to prevail.
 

Snuffy

TRIBE Member
LA and Calgary made a profit. We've pretty much built everything already. The games would be good for the city and country.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
GLOBE EDITORIAL

The 2024 Toronto Olympics? No thanks
The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Sep. 11, 2015 4:00PM EDT

At the 1948 London Summer Olympics, Harrison Dillard of the United States won the men’s 100 metres gold medal in a time of 10.3 seconds. When the Olympics were held again in London, more than six decades later, Dillard’s clocking would have been too slow to qualify for the semi-final. The same goes for the marathon: The men’s gold medalist in 1948 would have finished in 81st place in a field of 85 finishers at the 2012 London Olympics. As for the winner of the 1948 women’s marathon, there was none. Women were not allowed to run any distance longer than 200 metres.

The Olympics have come a long way since then, and in more than just athletic performance. The price tag has also progressed. The 1948 Games had a budget of £761,688. That’s about $25-million in today’s dollars – or roughly one-700th the cost of the 2012 Games.

Toronto is considering bidding for the 2024 Olympics, and must by Tuesday tell the International Olympic Committee whether it wishes to begin the long, expensive process. Neighbouring Mississauga has already said that it, and its taxpayers, want no part of this.

Toronto’s bid would not be a long shot. The city has come close before, Canada is a “safe hands” kind of country, and the Summer Games haven’t been held in North America since 1996.

The question is not whether Toronto could host the Olympics. The question is: Should it? The answer is no. And the reason is cost.

Consider just this one item from the budget of the last Summer Games. According to an Ernst & Young feasibility study prepared for the City of Toronto, London spent $1.5-billion on security. To put that in perspective, if the Toronto Transit Commission, one of the largest public transit systems in North America, were given $1.5-billion, it could more than double the size of its current fleet of buses. Or it could more than double its number of streetcars – in 2009, the TTC signed a $1.2-billion contract to replace its entire fleet of streetcars with 204 new ones.

Would Torontonians rather cover the city in a blanket of airport-level security for a few weeks? Or would they rather have twice as many transit vehicles on the streets, for decades? In a world of finite resources, those are the trade-offs. Or at least they should be.

The megaproject known as the Summer Olympics has become increasingly expensive to host, and difficult to justify on any basis other than national vanity. (The price tag for the Winter Games? Much lower.) For hosts, the Summer Games are usually a loser on any rational cost-benefit analysis. Too much of the spending demanded by the IOC is on things wanted by the Games – but not needed by the people of the host city, province and country.


Toronto’s feasibility study guessstimated that between $4.2-billion and $5.9-billion would have to be spent on venues – including a new 80,000-seat stadium. The underused white elephant built by taxpayers in the 1980s and then sold at a loss to private owners, the Rogers Centre, isn’t up to Olympic snuff. That new stadium (London’s cost $875-million), plus other new venues such as an athletes village and a 20,000-seat swimming centre, would likely be built in the Portlands, east of downtown.

Five years ago, Toronto City Council tried to address the lack of community hockey arenas in the city with a plan to build a four-rink complex, together with an athletics facility, in the Portlands. The cost was $88-million. This was an everyday recreational facility for kids and parents, something that would make life better for real people. The project died for lack of funds.

Look again at the estimated cost of the Summer Games venues and stadiums: Between $4.2- and $5.9-billion. At that price, Toronto could build its “too expensive” community hockey arena – 50 times over.

The main argument in favour of the Olympics, made by a permanent lobbying class of marketers and P.R. hangers-on, is that it will give the host city the necessary leverage to improve its infrastructure – build transit, redevelop a waterfront, reinvigorate a neighbourhood, whatever. Barcelona in 1992 is the prime example. But Barcelona is also almost the only example.

The idea of leveraging the Olympics to build infrastructure rests on two shaky, cynical premises: that voters and governments have to be bamboozled by the excitement of a big sports event into spending on badly needed but boring infrastructure, and that winning the Olympics is a way for taxpayers in one city to magically extract dollars from taxpayers in the rest of the province and the country.

If the boosters were honest, their pitch would sound something like this: No, Toronto doesn’t need a new, 80,000-seat stadium. Or a new aquatic stadium with as many seats as the Air Canada Centre. Or a new athletes village. (Ontario just built one for the Pan Am Games!) Or a host of other venues with a combined price tag of multiple billions of dollars. But by wasting taxpayer money on those things, we’ll have an excuse to spend on things that are needed, like transit. For every unnecessary stadium, you get a subway line. For every velodrome, you get some suburban light rail.

But how can Toronto, and the whole Greater Toronto Area, waste billions of dollars, while simultaneously finding other billions for what it actually needs but currently can’t afford? Easy. The Olympics, so the theory goes, will allow the region to demand funds beyond counting from the province and the federal government. Toronto will get to have its Olympic cake and eat it too – with the rest of the country’s taxpayers paying for the cake.

The thing is, Toronto doesn’t need to be a more famous city for two weeks. It needs to be a better city, for the people who live here, for decades to come. The same goes for the whole country.

The 2024 Toronto Olympics? No thanks - The Globe and Mail
 
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tobywan

TRIBE Member
Maybe he didn't drink THAT much of the Pan Scam games kool-aid, maybe he actually was listening to the people of Toronto (and by extension the GTA), or a combination of both.

In any case, this is fantastic news. The bid alone, which always just seems to be a fancy program style handbook with glossy pictures, is $60 Million!!!

Now it's time to get back on track to the issues that really matter, and not flashy pomp and circumstance.
 
Under different infrastructure and financial circumstances - yeah, I'd be for the bid. But the current reality: we'd need a lot more infrastructure work done in a really short time to meet that bid and it would be freaking chaos for the time of the development.

You (asking generally anyone) think that's going to be possible with the current municipal clowns that are currently in office?
 

Wiseman

TRIBE Member
I am disappointed he didn't sign the Letter of INTENT. Not because I want the city to bid for the Olympics. Because I think it should have gone to a vote. The Letter of Intent did not mean we were going to submit a bid. Council absolutely would have had to vote on it when it came to approving an actual bid. I think having an actual vote on record that the large majority of councillors would have said nay would be good to put the nail in the coffin on any ideas of bidding for a while as well as putting on record through the debate many of the reasons it's a bad idea at this time.

As well it would expose the councillors who would vote to proceed with a bid to voters.
 
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