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Freedom Party of Ontario


For immediate release


Pan Am Panhandling Must End

"Ivor Wynne" has become just another way of saying "taxpayers lose"

February 1, 2011 Toronto
- Freedom Party of Ontario is calling for a freeze on all further Provincial bailouts of 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games building projects and a permanent policy against taxpayer funding for the hosting of all future international games events.  Less than two weeks after the city of Toronto was stuck with a bill for an extra $47M in extra Pan Am costs, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty has agreed to stick all Ontario taxpayers with a bill for another $22.5B to help Hamilton secure Ivor Wynne Stadium as a Pan Am event location.  The Pan Am Games organizing committee is expected to announce today that the renovated stadium will be a 2015 Pan Am games sports facility.

"Freedom Party, and the No Tax for Pan Am Games Committee have been warning that this would happen", says Freedom Party leader and Pan Am Games Committee spokesperson Paul McKeever,  "and here we have it: $69.5M in Pan Am budget increases in just two weeks.  That's about $5M per day.  'Ivor Wynne' has become just another way of saying "taxpayers lose".  And this is just the tip of the iceberg, I assure you, because, to win the Pan Am Games bid, the McGuinty Liberals agreed to make the Ontario taxpayer the guarantor for any Pan Am costs over-runs.

"Perhaps the biggest disgrace is that Ontario's Progressive Conservative opposition, under Tim Hudak, have sat idly by, failing to oppose taxpayer funding for the Pan Am bid.  The tories let all Ontario taxpayers down precisely when a strong opposition was desperately needed.  Before Hudak's PCs complain about the McGuinty government's Pan Am bailouts, they had better be prepared to confess their own guilty part in failing to oppose what is sure to be a multi-billion dollar boondoggle.

"This Pan Am panhandling has to end.  Freedom Party is calling upon the McGuinty government to declare a freeze on all Pan Am funding above already-budgeted levels, and a law against taxpayer funding for all future international games hosting projects.  Private sector proponents of Toronto's 2015 Pan Am games bid must be forced to live within the budgets they originally set out in their bid book.  If they have under-estimated costs in an effort to get governments on-board, they should be forced to cope with any shortfalls themselves.  They can do so, in this case, by using existing Ontario facilities instead of building new ones, and by finding other cost savings through reduced ostentation.  If the games disappoint to some degree or another, it will be due solely to the private sector proponents' own failures and political strategies, and not due to honest taxpayers refusing to play along and bail them out."

In 1984, Freedom Party formed a No Tax for Pan Am Games Committee that defeated London, Ontario's bid to host the 1991 Pan Am Games (see video here).  In 2009, prior to the selection of Toronto as the 2015 host, Freedom Party of Ontario formed the No Tax for Pan Am Games Committee to oppose taxpayer funding for Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games bid.  Paul McKeever has estimated that the total cost for the 2015 Pan Am games should be expected to run as high as $11.6B, far in excess of the original $1.7B (subsequently $1.4B) estimate.  Due to the McGuinty government's agreement to be guarantor for the 2015 games, the provincial taxpayer will be on the hook for the games'  deficit.

For further details, contact:

Paul McKeever, Leader - Freedom Party of Ontario

e-mail: pmckeever@freedomparty.on.ca

Freedom Party has been releasing 2011 election planks since early October. A complete list of the planks released so far can be viewed here. Freedom Party has also released a number of pre-election video ads to promote its planks. They all can be viewed on Freedom Party's youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/fpontario .



Freedom Party of Ontario
240 Commissioners Road West
London, Ontario

web: https://freedomparty.on.ca