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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Fort St. John will no longer be a destination for the 2027 Canada Winter Games after the Government of Yukon pulled the bid for Whitehorse.
The Government of Yukon announced on November 14th, 2022, that the move was due to a lack of federal funding.
Fort St. John was eyed as part of the bid process for the city’s speed-skating rink and a location for an athlete’s village. Council initially voted to support the bid through a memorandum of understanding back in February 2022.
News of the bid being pulled came up during a City of Fort St. John council meeting on November 28th. The council and staff expressed their disappointment with the outcome.
Councillor Tony Zabinsky suggested sending a letter of sympathy to Whitehorse, expressing condolences and thanks for the consideration. Councillor Trevor Bolin disagreed.
“How about we send them a bill for the amount of work we’ve put into planning so that we can pay our staff,” Bolin said during the meeting.
In an interview with Energeticcity after the meeting, Bolin clarified that he was not upset by the news and was thinking of the work the city staff had already put into the event.
“Every time we have a potential proposal like this, it’s not a one-off. It’s not willy-nilly,” Bolin said. “Staff spend a ton of time, as do local organizations, to ensure it’s a world-class event with our names tagged on it as a community of Fort St. John.”
Bolin also expressed that this would make him more hesitant about other large events like this in the future.
“Next time, I suspect we’ll be wanting to make sure those I’s are dotted and T’s are signed before we jump into something so quick.”
In a release, Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, Richard Moysten, said the decision to pull the bid was not easy.
“We did not make this decision lightly, and we are extremely disappointed that we cannot proceed with this bid,” Moysten said.
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