VANCOUVER – A Vancouver city council committee has voted by a 10-to-2 margin to continue helping four Indigenous nations bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.
The vote came despite concerns raised in a staff report on finances and a tight timeline to submit the bid to the International Olympic Committee by next February.
The chiefs of the four host nations, Squamish, Lil’wat, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam, appeared before the standing committee meeting Wednesday, saying that supporting the Indigenous-led bid is an opportunity to act on government commitments to reconciliation.
Before the vote, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow asked council members to “get in the canoe” with the nations so their efforts weren’t wasted.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said after the vote that
council made a very important decision to continue to work with the host nations.
He called the vote the end of Phase 1, saying they’ve all decided the bid is worth exploring.
Stewart says the next steps are to get the federal and provincial governments to be partners and then sign a multiparty agreement to form the foundation of any bid.
The decision comes after councillors in Whistler voted Tuesday to support the bid. Mayor Jack Crompton said during the meeting that details of partnerships and government still need to be confirmed.
“I’m not sure there is any way that our organization can say no to this invitation, and I could not receive this invite with more enthusiasm,” Crompton told the council meeting. “We are privileged people to be able to participate with these four host nations.”
The nations said earlier this month that the estimated cost for hosting the Games could range from $3.5- to $4 billion, in a blend of public and private funds.
The Canadian Olympic Committee said the bid still needs the approval of the federal and provincial governments before it’s finalized next February.
The International Olympic Committee is expected to award the games in late May or early June next year.