BC at odds with World Cup bid committee, raising concerns over costs

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"It's a great opportunity, as we know".

The B.C. Pavilion Corporation operates BC Place, putting the province on the hook for stadium costs, including the installation of natural grass.

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare says the province doesn't agree with the terms put forward by the bid committee, representing Canada, the USA and Mexico, to host the games in 2026. The presenters told council total costs for Vancouver were not finalized because Federation Internationale de Football Association had to first decide in June which country or countries will get the 2026 event; Morocco is the only competing bid.

Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Montreal had been identified as potential candidate cities for the 10 games that Canada would host under the unified bid plan. Johal noted other provinces "have come to arrangements" but the government is the lone jurisdiction who has "failed to come to the table".

The federal government threw its support behind the committee Tuesday with a promise of $5-million in immediate help if the bid wins, and Beare says B.C. remains open to hosting some of the games if its requests to clarify financial obligations are met. "We're going to make the decision that's in the best interest for B.C. taxpayers". "Vancouver remains a city with an exceptional sports hosting history and we look forward to working with the province and our Sport Hosting Vancouver team to identify future worldwide sporting events that bring positive economic and cultural impact to Vancouver". "The minister should now provide all the facts as to why the B.C. NDP was unable to reach an agreement to participate in this unprecedented chance to promote the province".

"I have a higher obligation than just being a soccer fan".

Vancouver says it will not be part of the bid to co-host the 2026 World Cup as it could not agree with the terms of the host contract put forward by the United Bid Committee.

"Let's also ensure the costs to taxpayers are not out of control", he said. "I'm just not prepared to sign off on that and nor is the minister of finance".

"That is concerning because there's been many months, even years, put into this proposal and this project and at the last minute, to pull out like that, speaks to me about a government in disarray", said Liberal MLA Jas Johal.

Tourism Minister Lisa Beare confirmed Wednesday that B.C.'s application to include Vancouver in the bid was rejected, because the costs to the province could have been increased at any time.

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