As the three year countdown begins, Ontario is already seeing the economic benefits from hosting the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. Almost $1.4 billion is being invested in Pan/Parapan Am Games. $500 million of this $1.4 billion has been contributed by the federal government.
Amateur Sport Minister Bal Gosal was speaking at a promotional event for the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto when he was interrupted by four doctors wearing their white coats who approached the stage yelling.
“What about health care for refugees? What about medications for our patients?” yelled the protesters.
“The McGuinty government has always recognized the Games’ potential to bring important economic and social benefits to Ontarians. With three years to go, we have already experienced the first waves of those benefits with many more to come,” stated Mr. Charles Sousa, Minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan Am Games.
The “People’s Games” will be one of the largest economic drivers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe over the next three years. They will create more than 15,000 jobs, attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and showcase Ontario on the world stage.
From construction to planning, work is right on schedule for the Games states the press release by the Ontario government. The construction and planning include =:
- Construction of the “Canary District” has been underway since January — the new waterfront community in the West Don Lands — creating an additional 5,200 jobs and will welcome more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials as temporary tenants during the Games.
- The start of construction of the Pan Am Aquatics Centre, Field House and Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario in Scarborough — creating 150 construction jobs.
- Negotiations in progress for all the other new and improved sport and recreation facilities with construction to begin later this year or in 2013.
- Confirmation of the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave as the official host of the equestrian events.
- Unveiling of the improvements of the Welland International Flatwater Centre which will welcome the canoe and kayak sports.
The Games are also helping to accelerate the delivery timeline of the Air-Rail Link and Union Station redevelopment.
However, there are concerns about whether the Games can be held on budget and on time.