Thursday , January 28 2021

Francophonie Games organizers defend $ 130M cost estimates

More more details about the estimated $ 130 million cost to host the 2021 Francophonie Games trickled out Monday.

Organizers said in a press conference in the late afternoon that the budget was sent to the province, and federal and municipal governments included $ 84 million in operating costs, $ 36 million on infrastructure and $ 10 million for event security.

The committee is under pressure to explain the budget budget to $ 130 million from $ 17 million just two years ago when Dieppe and Moncton were chosen to host the international event.

The games are expected to draw more than 4,000 athletes and artists to the host cities.

Éric Mathieu Doucet, Chairman of the Organizing Committee's Board, told reporters that the current committee should not be due to the soaring price.

"We were not responsible for the budget," he said, saying that the decision was taken in 2015 by a former Budude election established by the province with officials and community volunteers. These volunteers included Doucet and Éric Larocque, who is now the organizing committee's chief executive officer.

"We were not those who were responsible for writing the budget," repeated Doucet.

Éric Larocque, Chief Executive Officer of the 2021 Francophonie Games Organization Committee, said the infrastructure queries were cut after the initial cost estimates were developed. (Shane Magee / CBC)

"I can say that it was the former government that made a bid for Francophonie Games," Doucet said when asked whether the former Gallant government was responsible for the lower bid.

Larocque said last week that the $ 17 million bid was based on a proposed financial framework in the International Organization for the Francophonie Games Guide. The price of $ 130 million, he explained, is the full business plan that the committee was not required to submit as part of its bid.

The actual business plan submitted to the federal, provincial and host city municipalities on 30 March 2018 has not yet been released.

The federal government has also employed an independent consultant to review the plans. This report was handed over to the province and federal governments one week before September 24 in the province, the committee members said Monday.

The province will not release a report

CBC requested a report from the province, which said late Monday afternoon, it would not release it because it is a federal document.

Of infrastructure costs, Doucet said that $ 24 million was considered crucial. It is despite previous statements that said the "beauty" of the bid was that the games would use existing infrastructure.

The committee submits its application for funding, places topics in one of three columns: "essential for keeping the games", "desirable" and "useful and comfortable."

Laraquoe said that the essential expenses include money for new football pitches, reconstruction of the tennis courts in Moncton's Centennial Park and repairs to the pitch at the University of Moncton Stadium.

The University of Moncton University hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. (CBC)

Moncton's capital budget for 2019 includes $ 5.1 million. For artificial fields on CN Sportsplex with the city hoping to get 3.7 million. Kr. Paid by other government levels.

Doucet said the expenses rose after the bid was submitted.

"When the bid was done, we continued on the information we had," said Doucet. He said since then, officials from FIFA and other sports organizations have assessed the facilities.

We ask Vice President Robert Gauvin how will the province handle the big increase in the estimated price of hosting the francophonie games. 13:03

Once again Monday, Robert Gauvin, the provincial deputy prime minister, told New Brunswick not to spend more than $ 10 million on the games.

"We must find ways to bring down the cost of the games," he said.

The federal government has said it will stick to its commitment to cover half of the cost.

The Chairman of the Board would not comment on whether the games could still be held at a lower price.

Do not pull over

The Province has not signed a contract to host the games. A provincial minister, Stéphanie Bilodeau, said it is still possible to withdraw from hosting.

"But that is not an option the government is considering at this time," he said.

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