Slight majority in B.C. support Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid, survey finds

A slight majority of British Columbians back the idea of Vancouver bidding to host the 2030 Olympic Winter Games bid, a new survey has found, but the level of public support rises dramatically if the Games can be held without the use of public funds.

The survey conducted by Insights West found 55 per cent of British Columbians supported the idea of an Olympic bid — 24 per cent said they “strongly support” the idea and 31 per cent said they “somewhat support” a bid.

Forty-five per cent were not in favour of a Games bid, with 19 per cent of respondents saying they are “somewhat opposed” and 26 per cent saying they are “strongly opposed.” Eighty-five per cent of those who oppose the Games say it will interfere with other spending priorities.

Click to play video: 'Could Vancouver host another Olympic games?'
Could Vancouver host another Olympic games?

When asked if they would support a Winter Games bid if “no public money would be used,” support rose sharply to 77 per cent.

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John Furlong, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games organizing committee CEO, has said a 2030 Olympic bid would seek out private sector partners to run the event, preventing taxpayers from footing the bill.

Click to play video: 'Furlong: Vancouver should bid for 2030 Winter Games'
Furlong: Vancouver should bid for 2030 Winter Games

The cost of security, however, would still be left to taxpayers. In 2010, security costs alone were close to $1 billion.

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The survey found that a majority of respondents, regardless of whether they support a bid or not, acknowledge that the Games provide “significant economic and social benefits to the province in 2030.”

Eighty-three per cent said they believe hosting the Winter Games would create jobs, and 80 per cent said it would provide a boost to the province’s tourism sector, which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“Support for the 2030 Winter Olympic Bid in British Columbia is highly contingent on the amount of public money that would need to go into support the bid process and host the Games,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said.

Click to play video: 'Furlong explains why Vancouver’s Olympic legacy would clear path for 2030 bid'
Furlong explains why Vancouver’s Olympic legacy would clear path for 2030 bid

“Early polling suggests that despite being in the middle of a pandemic, there is public support and that British Columbians are aware of the social and economic benefits of hosting Olympic Games.”

Vancouver city councillors accepted a staff report in late March on the concept of hosting the 2030 Winter Games and voted to have staff analyze the potential impacts — including costs — on the city.

— With files from Simon Little

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