Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has added the city's support to Hamilton's bid to host the 2030 Commonwealth Games.
If the bid is successful, the Games will return to the city where they started for the 100th anniversary of the event.
Hamilton 100 bid organizing committee chair Louis Frapporti addressed Burlington council on Tuesday (Jan. 24) and asked Meed Ward to add her support alongside the mayors of Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Milton and Welland as well as the leaders of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
Frapporti said it is the first time in Ontario major sports games history that Indigenous leaders have been asked to partner in curating the effort.
Responding to a question from Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna about what would be expected from Burlington financially, Frapporti clarified that, at this time, there is no expectation of a financial contribution from the city.
However, he said, the city could choose to add a financial component later.
As council discussed whether to add Mayor Meed Ward's signature to the letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford encouraging the province to fund the Games, Bentivegna said he considered it a "win-win for everyone."
He added that the Games also come with a para-athletes version and have important historical ties to Hamilton.
Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith said the push for the Games, which is largely being driven by the private sector, should be supported by Hamilton's neighbouring city, and that a site at 1200 King Road is an important part of the overall bid plan.
In a November presentation to the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, bid organizers said the property near the Aldershot GO station has been proposed to house the Athlete's Village. At that time, the proposed use of the land was not supported by the city's Official Plan; however, this week council heard the necessary changes have been made to allow for it.
Based on the experience of previous host cities, bid organizers said the Games could bring $1.2 to $2.5 billion into the area and the equivalent of 20,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
The announcement of the host city for the 2030 Commonwealth Games is expected early this year.
Hamilton's main competitors for the 2030 Games are Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Meed Ward said if the provincial and federal governments do not support the bid, it will be over.
"This is solely to ask the province and the federal government to fund these Games," she said. "If the answer from the province and the federal government is no to funding them, the bid is dead. Period. It will not proceed without upper-level government funding.
Council voted unanimously that the mayor sign and support the letter on the behalf of the city.