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World Cup in Vancouver: Taxpayers federation calls for municipal and provincial governments to show the bill


The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the governments of Vancouver and B.C. to reveal an updated estimate of how much hosting the 2026 FIFA World Cup will cost taxpayers.

“This is about the basics of democracy: accountable government and transparency,” said CTF British Columbia director Carson Binda.

Binda said the CTF was able to obtain the City of Toronto’s contract with FIFA through a freedom of information request.

"The Toronto government and its FOI system handed us an almost complete contract with very minimal redactions. That's the exact opposite of what we've seen here in Vancouver,” he said.

Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim previously told CTV News that he could not reveal any potential costs due to non-disclosure agreements. 

However, in statement to CTV News Thursday, a city spokesperson said:

“We would like to clarify that the Host City Agreement between FIFA and the City of Vancouver does not prevent the City of Vancouver from sharing the event budget. We are still determining costs after the match schedule was released Feb. 4, 2024, and as we and our hosting partners continue to get more clarity on our respective FIFA requirements.”

The estimated cost for Toronto jumped from $300 million to $380 million. The city attributed that to getting one extra game, as well as inflation.

In B.C., the original cost estimate was $260 million, however the city was given a total of seven games, up from the five it expected.

Minister of Tourism, Culture, Art and Sport Lana Popham was pressed for a dollar figure by reporters Thursday. She said the government isn't ready to put it out there yet, but admits it will certainly be more than originally expected.

“We have significant increase in opportunity and with that comes an increase in cost, so with seven games we have more security costs, etc.” she said.

Binda says any extra burden on taxpayers right now is unnecessary.

"I don’t think the provincial government or the city should be spending any money throwing a big circus when many British Columbians can’t afford bread right now,” he said.

Popham says she will be able to reveal more information in a few weeks. Top Stories

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