The 2021 Francophonie Games, featuring athletes from around the world, may prove too costly for New Brunswick’s new Tory government.
Cost estimates have ballooned to $130 million from the original bid of $17 million, and new Premier Blaine Higgs says his government won’t cover the extra costs.
He says he wants the games in the province but will only abide by the previous Liberal government’s $10 million commitment, and no more.
He’s turning to the federal government to come up with the rest, but those relations are a bit frosty after Higgs cancelled a number of federal-provincial projects.
Five members of the games organizing committee resigned on Wednesday, with four explicitly citing the controversy.
The Francophonie Games, which Canada last hosted in Ottawa-Gatineau in 2001, are expected to attract roughly 3,000 athletes from 80 member states that have French as a common language.
Green Leader David Coon is calling for a legislature committee to examine how the costs escalated so much, and how the problems can be resolved.
A federal consultant’s report pegged a reasonable cost of between $72 million and $115 million.