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They demand the cancellation of the World Cup in Toronto.

A taxpayer advocacy group wants the incoming mayor of Toronto to dismiss the city's plan to host games for the 2026 World Cup.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging Olivia Chow to cancel the city's plan to spend over $100 million to host between five and eight games during the 39-day World Cup tournament.


Instead, the nonprofit organization suggests that Toronto should "reallocate the money to other pressing priorities" and act "financially responsible and withdraw its bid" unless sufficient sponsorships and private sector partnerships are secured to offset the difference.

"By canceling the city's plans to pay for Toronto to host multiple World Cup games, Chow could leave more money in taxpayers' pockets or pay over 90% of her promised Affordable Housing Trust Fund for a year," said Jay Goldberg, interim director of CTF in Ontario in a press release.


When the city of Toronto initially expressed interest in hosting World Cup games in 2018, the cost to taxpayers was estimated to be between $30 and $45 million. However, those costs have since increased, and the city is now expected to spend over $77.1 million, along with an additional $24 million in in-kind services.


Goldberg stated that Chow has made "hundreds of millions of dollars" in campaign promises, and there must be a way to pay for them, especially since Toronto is facing a budget deficit of $933 million due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Twenty percent of Canadians skip meals because they can't afford every meal, and we're talking about spending all this money on the World Cup. I think it's the wrong priority. And I think Olivia Chow can come in and make a statement as a breath of fresh air."


The city plans to spend $15 million to improve sports fields in Sunnybrook and Centennial parks for training purposes of invited teams, as well as an additional $25 million to increase capacity at BMO Field.


A cost-sharing arrangement of $300 million is expected between the city, province, and federal government, but so far, neither the provincial nor federal government have committed to providing financial support.


Regarding this, Olivia Chow stated that she will seek support from the federal and provincial governments because it is supposed to be a tripartite agreement, and it should not solely rely on Toronto taxpayers to assume the entire cost. However, she emphasized that the bid has already been signed, therefore, the most important thing is to get the federal and provincial governments to join the City of Toronto.


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