AUDIO – DESCRIPTION:
On June 5, 1985, the Canadian federal government announced that there would be no more federal funding of organized sports events until at least 1990. Freedom Party Action Director Marc Emery and Robert Metz’s No Tax for Pan Am Committee (a committee formed by Freedom Party) had steadily opposed taxpayer funding for London’s bid to host the 1991 Pan Am Games. Flyers and newsletters had been distributed throughout London, and numerous radio and TV appearances of Emery, Metz, and other No Tax for Pan Am activists had tipped popular opinion against taxpayer funding for the games. The federal decision effectively killed the London Bid Committee’s bid to have London host the 1991 Pan Am Games (the London bid committee was comprised largely of local business owners and building contractors who hoped to make a lot of money as a result of taxpayer funding for such things as the building of sports arenas).
On the evening of June 5, 1985, AM980’s Sports Call program interviewed three pro-bid individuals (London East Member of Parliment Jim Jepson; Darwin Semotiuk of the London Bid Committee; and London City Controller Joe Fontana who later would be a London MP, and a London Mayor*), followed by Marc Emery. During their respective interviews, Fontana predicted that the federal government’s decision would be very unpopular, but Emery predicted it would be popular. Thereafter, the program asked listeners to call in and indicate whether they were for or against the federal government’s decision not to fund the games. Emery was right: 74% of callers supported the federal government’s decision not to fund the games with taxpayer money.
*NOTE: In 2014, Joe Fontana resigned as City Mayor after he was found guilty of three fraud-related offences for forging an expense document in 2005 that resulted in a $1,700 government fraud
Radio Program: Sports Call
Host: Gary Alan Price
Guests: Marc Emery (Freedom Party Action Director), Jim Jepson (London East Member of Parliament), Darwin Semotiuk (London Bid Committee), Joe Fontana (London City Controller)
Aired: June 5, 1985
Radio Station: CFPL 980 AM, London, Ontario
Recorded: June 5, 1985
File Format: MP3
URL (Marc Emery Excerpt – 16.9 MB – 5 mins: 0 secs) – https://freedomparty.on.ca/archive/audio/tape-83.1985-06-05.sports-call.federal-gov-says-no-to-sports-funding.pan-am.emery-excerpt.mp3
URL (Complete Recording – 105.1 MB – 43 mins: 47 secs) – https://freedomparty.on.ca/archive/audio/tape-83.1985-06-05.sports-call.federal-gov-says-no-to-sports-funding.pan-am.complete-no-commercials.mp3