FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 11, 2022
WHITEHORSE – The Yukon Party Official Opposition is requesting that the Liberal government provide an update on plans and costs for their bid to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games (CWG) in Whitehorse.
The request follows a CBC Yukon interview by the Minister of Community Services on Monday, August 8. During the interview, the Minister suggested that the costs to hold the CWG were becoming unmanageable and raised the idea that hosting them may be out of reach for smaller jurisdictions. In March, the Minister of Community Services told media that the Games would cost more than $100 million to stage and should come close to breaking even. Later he admitted that the CWG “may be $50 million; it may be $150 million; I’m not sure. $100 million seemed like a reasonable estimate to answer a reporter’s question.”
By not taking the CWG seriously and fumbling the file, the Minister now appears to be putting the Games at risk.
“Since last year, the Minister of Community Services has been adamant that his government is prepared to host the 2027 Canada Winter Games and even $150 million was a possible cost he was prepared to spend,” said Community Services Critic Patti McLeod. “However, he continues to be inconsistent with his information on files and now appears to be backtracking in his recent statements. We’re now asking the government to provide an update on plans for the Yukon to host the Games and what is the current estimated cost.”
Any new CWG infrastructure will need to host national test events at least one year prior to competition. That planning requires local sports associations to bid for national sports events, so any infrastructure needs completion before the spring of 2026. Currently, none of the new infrastructure has been budgeted in the Liberal’s five-year capital concept, nor has it formally been made public.
“Yukon athletes, parents, and businesses who are already looking ahead to the Games deserve to have clear answers from the Liberal government,” McLeod added.