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Freedom Party of Ontario


For immediate release

Ontario's Record-breaking Deficit - Toronto's $1.4B Bid to Host the 2015 Pan Am Games

Cancellation of Tax-Funding for Pan Am
Now a Pressing and Obvious Necessity

Record Deficit Figures Highlight Necessity of Reversing Decision to Fund Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games Bid with Tax Revenues

October 23, 2009, Toronto - Cutting taxpayer funding for Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games bid is the most time-sensitive and obvious cut that the Ontario and federal governments could and must make says Freedom Party of Ontario leader Paul McKeever.  Ontario's economic update today announced a 2009-2010 deficit of $24.5B, and a three-year projected $65B cumulative deficit.  At its November 4-6, 2009 General Assembly, the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) will choose the venue for the 2015 Pan / Parapan Games.  Toronto is competing with Lima, Peru and Bogotá, Colombia to be the 2015 host. In 2008, the governments of Ontario and of Canada proposed spending $500,000,000.00 each on funding for Toronto's bid (i.e., a combined $1B).  In addition, the government of Ontario has offered to pick up the tab for any deficit the 2015 games suffer.

"The record breaking $24.5B deficit announced in Ontario's fall economic statement today highlights the folly and irresponsibility of using provincial and federal taxpayer dollars to fund the private and exclusive Pan Am Games event in 2015", says Freedom Party leader Paul McKeever.  "Our provincial and federal governments' decisions each to spend $500,000,000.00  taxpayer dollars on the bid - and Ontario's proposal to cover any deficit of this private event - were made in mid 2008, when the governments of Ontario and of Canada assumed they would not be deeply affected by the world-wide economic meltdown.  More than a year later, we now know their assumption was incorrect.  Ontario is now officially a have-not province, facing an exodus of industry, gutted corporate tax revenues, and an anticipated three-year deficit of $65B.  A dollar spent on one thing is a dollar not spent on something else.  It would be unconscionable to borrow money for a velodrome and other high-maintenance sports venues, especially given that such expenditures would necessarily come at the price of more deaths and longer waits for the sick and injured, and at the cost of even fewer resources for students. 

"The immoral will always prove, ultimately, to be the impractical.  It was wrong to propose funding the games with taxpayer dollars.  Now, the economic impracticality of following through on that decision looms large. 

"Fortunately, our federal, provincial, and municipal governments so far have not spent the proposed amounts, and there is still time for those governments to change their minds about funding Toronto's 2015 bid with tax revenues.  Cancelling plans to fund the 2015 games with tax revenues would be the most pain-free cut our federal and Ontario governments could make.  Lima or Bogotá would be happy to be chosen as the 2015 venue, and Canadian athletes would still be able to compete.

"With the approach of the November 6th venue decision by PASO, it is only fair that the governments of Ontario and Canada immediately communicate to PASO the fact that they will be unable to follow-through on their 2008 plans to fund the 2015 Pan Am Games with taxpayer dollars.

"Morality, sound economics, and good governance demand that the federal and provincial governments take immediate action to announce a cancellation of their 2008 funding plans for the Toronto bid."

Freedom Party launched its No Tax for Pan Am campaign in the summer of 2009.  For further information visit the campaign website ( http://www.notaxforpanam.com ). 

For further details, contact:

Paul McKeever,   Spokesperson - No Tax for Pan Am Committee
                            Leader - Freedom Party of Ontario

e-mail: pmckeever@freedomparty.on.ca
Office: 905-721-9772

This media release distributed to all major news media.

Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario

Tel: 1-800-830-3301
web: https://freedomparty.on.ca