Greater Victoria’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid committee contained many talented individuals from various facets of business, sport and community.
They participated in countless hours of meetings with stakeholders, national sport bodies, people with experience hosting such multi-sport Games and other individuals and groups that might be able to help them better understand what it takes to create a successful bid.
In the end, time was not on their side. Had they had another six months, even, to streamline their bid and have the in-depth conversations necessary to bring government cabinet ministers and ministry officials up to speed on how it could work – not to mention the public – we might be telling a different Victoria Commonwealth Games story today.
With the tight deadline of submitting their bid by Sept. 30, and the green light from the two senior levels of government still not secured as of last week, the odds were not in Victoria’s favour to secure all the necessary approvals in time.
We don’t hold anything against the B.C. NDP government and our homegrown Finance Minister Carole James for saying no to spending $400 million to help host the Games – a figure that would have been spread over nearly five years – and covering any shortfalls this endeavour might rack up. They are doing what they were elected to do, which is to manage the public purse in the best way they know how.
That means making sound financial decisions and not getting caught up in the excitement generated by a great idea, even ones that could likely would have accrued many longer-term benefits for the region.
We’ll have to find out another time whether Greater Victoria would make a great Games host city in the 21st century. For now we’ll have to settle for euphoric recall about the wildly successful 1994 Commonwealth Games.