Three First Nations have now given the thumbs up for Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid

Jul 19 2022, 11:12 pm

Three of the Four Host First Nations from Vancouver 2010 have already approved making further progress on the potential bid to re-host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2030.

The councils of the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations both unanimously endorsed continuing work on advancing the Indigenous-led bid and Games last week, while the Musqueam council made the same approval on Monday. The respective councils of Lilwat nation, City of Vancouver, and Resort Municipality of Whistler will also consider the bid in meetings this week.

Last month, the boards of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee also provided their unanimous approval.

To date, the COC has covered the full cost of exploring and planning the feasibility of the bid, which reached a cost of about $2.5 million in early June.

“We are extremely pleased to have five crucial endorsements for continuing the work to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games back to Canada. Obviously, hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games is complex, and the support of each partner is critical to the success of the project,” said Tricia Smith, president of the COC, in a statement.

“We are fortunate to have the incredible expertise gained from Vancouver 2010 to get this done. Those Games are widely seen as one of the best Games ever, and this is our chance to build upon that legacy while taking meaningful steps toward reconciliation.”

In order for the bid submission to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to proceed, all councils of the participating First Nations and municipal governments must approve the project’s work at this stage.

Ahead of Wednesday’s Vancouver City Council meeting, City staff’s report providing an update on bid efforts suggested there may not be enough time to perform negotiations on its part of the multi-party agreement between all participating entities and jurisdictions — that the municipal government would need six months to conduct this work by December 2022.

The COC has now clarified that it is feasible for this work to be achieved within time constraints, with all parties involved having seven months through February 2023.

“Working together at the staff and executive levels over the coming seven months would be a significant, tangible example of reconciliation in action, following the commitments made in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Federal), the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Provincial), and with Vancouver as a City of Reconciliation and RMOW as a party commitment to reconciliation,” reads an update by the COC.

Such a multi-party agreement is also a domestic precedent established during the 2010 bidding process, not a requirement to bid internationally.

All agreements relating to venues are on track to be completed by the end of this year and are being led by the 2030 feasibility team.

The more complex agreements are negotiated with the IOC as needed, should the Vancouver bid led by Indigenous partners be invited into the IOC’s targeted dialogue in December 2022, with target completion at the end of March 2023.

“We value and appreciate the concerns raised by municipal staff in Vancouver, and believe the report highlights the work that now needs to be done as well as the need to work efficiently together to meet national and international timelines,” continues the COC’s update.

It is expected the federal government will cover up to 50% of the total public costs of the 2030 Games, based on the existing federal policy for hosting international events. The remainder would be covered jointly by the provincial and municipal governments, with their share of existing venue upgrades being $150 million to $188 million over five years or $30 million to $38 million annually over the period.

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