December 12, 2018 6:07 pm
Updated: December 12, 2018 6:10 pm

4 members resign from 2021 Francophonie Games organizing committee

Eric Mathieu Doucet, who sat on the provincial organizing committee for the 2021 Francophonie Games, is one of four committee members to resign this afternoon.

Callum Smith / Global News

Four members of the board of directors of the Francophonie Games have announced that they are resigning, citing “undue controversy” that has led them to believe they no longer have the confidence of the provincial government to continue their mandate.

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The four members, Eric Mathieu Doucet, Mirelle Cyr, Éric Cormier and Kim Rayworth, announced their resignation in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

“This shadow of a doubt is taking away from the real story — the amazing benefits and opportunities these games will bring to our region and our province, both French and English, not only in 2021 but for generations to come,” the joint statement reads.

READ MORE: ‘I would probably encourage it’: Economist suggests N.B. pull out of Francophonie Games

The Francophonie Games, or Jeux de la Francophonie, are projected to cost $130 million, while the original bid was placed for $17 million in 2015.

On Tuesday, Concordia University economist Moshe Lander called the proposed budget concerning, adding it had the potential to be too steep to handle.

Both the City of Moncton and the government of New Brunswick have said there’s no wiggle room to increase funding.

Lander encouraged the event’s organizing committee to back out if the cost estimates held true.

WATCH: Future of 2021 Francophonie Games still up in the air

In their statement, the organizers said they “no longer have the confidence of the government of New Brunswick” to continue their mandate and have submitted their resignation to the minister of culture.

A fifth provincial appointee resigned earlier in the day, according to the statement, citing professional reasons.

“We hope that these resignations will allow the partners to return to the negotiating table in a healthier media and political climate,” the statement reads. “We remain very excited about New Brunwick’s opportunity to host the world.”

“We want these games to succeed and we hope that our departure will allow the organization to get back necessary planning required to ensuring all opportunities are realized and that our province is an even better place following the completion of a successful games.”

READ MORE: ‘We went on the information we had’: Francophonie Games faces skyrocketing costs

The joint statement adds that the four members will not provide additional comment.

—With files from Callum Smith

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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