Municipalities across Greater Victoria are reacting differently to a funding request to bring the 2022 Invictus Games to the region.
Perhaps leading the way is Saanich, whose council will debate next week a notice of motion from Mayor Fred Haynes and Coun. Judy Brownoff to allocate up to $20,000 towards the bid.
Coun. Judy Brownoff said in a statement the bid aligns with municipal objectives. “Saanich aims to promote and increase the economic benefits related to hosting major sport, recreation and cultural events in our community,” she said. “Saanich has high-performance sport facilities that we can use to support local sport tourism and provide economic growth.”
If Saanich appears poised towards supporting the bid, it is not clear whether the City of Victoria and the City of Langford will also contribute the same amount.
Keith Wells, executive director of the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission, said Monday that those two municipalities will be asked for the same amount, adding that funding the application now does not commit the municipalities to funding the Games themselves, which would cost millions.
Bill Eisenhauer, head of engagement at the City of Victoria, said he could not comment on the figure because staff has yet to receive a formal request.
Black Press is still awaiting a response from the office of Langford Mayor Stew Young.
According to Wells, Esquimalt will be asked for $5,000 towards the bid, estimated to cost $70,000.
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the request has been sent to staff for an “appropriate council discussion and decision.” She did not respond to follow up questions about her own views on the bid.
Oak Bay, on the other hand has already committed $5,000.
The deadline for the bid is March 29.
in the Invictus Games, created by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans associations compete across multiple sports. The name of the competition stems from a poem titled Invictus (Latin for unconquered) by English poet by William Ernest Henley in which the author (himself an amputee) celebrates physical and mental perseverance in the face of daunting odds.
Peter Lawless, president of the Invictus Victoria Sports Society, said in a letter to Saanich council that the region would be “uniquely positioned” to host the games because of its status as home of Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and former site of the XV Commonwealth Games.