VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics could be part of the cure for Vancouver’s post-pandemic financial recovery, says one city councillor.
A motion by Coun. Melissa de Genova is going to council Wednesday and is based on numbers from the 2010 Games in Vancouver.
“When I put this together, my research that I included in the whereas clauses of the motion was based on not only some of the research and the numbers that came back and in the final report, but also looking at some of the opportunities, the social enterprise opportunities, the opportunities for job training and employment, so, yes, I certainly looked at some of the numbers in trying to ask council to consider moving forward with this,” de Genova said.
She originally brought the idea up in April, but the motion was put off because of COVID-19.
She said she was surprised to see the issue on this week’s agenda, but feels now is a more appropriate time to discuss it than before, given the housing and overdose crises.
“We, as a council, can show leadership to leverage, to make sure that not only are those people included, but that we find ways to maximize the benefits to those communities through housing, through empowering people in social enterprise programs,” de Genova said.
The idea of Vancouver hosting the games again gained traction after it was floated by VANOC chief John Furlong at a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in February.
The council motion outlines figures from a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, that more than 20,000 jobs in B.C. and across Canada were created prior to Vancouver hosting the 2010 Games.
“More than 800 new businesses were created as a result of incremental economic growth stimulated by the Games,” says the motion.
It also says the Games generated between $70.2 million and $91.9 million in federal tax revenues, and as much as $1.05 billion in real GDP.
Employment and jobs in B.C. also increased in February 2010, according to Statistics Canada.
“This amounted to 8,300 positions with average weekly earnings, including overtime, of $843.91,” says the motion.
It adds, benefits to the city and region included 2,500 new full-time positions, as well as $15 million to local Vancouver businesses during the Games.