Esquimalt gives thumbs down to Commonwealth Games bid

With the Victoria Commonwealth Games bid committee seeking $25-million worth of in-kind support from local municipalities in order to host the games, one of those municipalities is already saying 'no thanks.'

Esquimalt Council -- in a recent meeting behind closed doors -- voted to decline support for costs such as policing.

"If the region decides that they want to go forward with this, that it's a good thing for them, then they can do that. But we as a community are opting out. There's just too much local work for us right now. We want to get that stuff done," says Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

The mayor says she doesn't see enough benefit to justify the cost to her taxpayers. "You know what? They're not brining anything forward to Esquimalt from everything we've heard anyways. Certainly we don't have any land to build new venues. Nobody came to us and said we'd like your venues. So, it really isn't something that would engage our community."

Last week, the bid committee released a business plan that called for the province to contribute $400-million, the federal government to contribute $400-million plus security costs, and for local area municipalities to pitch in $25-million worth of in-kind support.  The rest of the $955-million dollar budget would be made up from commercial revenue. Victoria faces compitition from cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool in the search to replace Durban, South Africa after that city pulled out as host earlier this year.

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