On July 19, 2022, Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Council members received an administrative staff report outlining key considerations and implications associated with preparation of a potential bid for the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games (2030 Games) to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in early 2023. Earlier in the day at the Committee of the Whole meeting, representatives from the Squamish Nation, Líl̓wat Nation, Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee presented highlights of the 2030 Games process to date and planned steps moving forward. Council passed several resolutions directing staff to continue working with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) 2030 Feasibility Team to further explore a bid.
The report summarized substantial work completed by the COC and the Leadership Assembly, comprised of the four host First Nations (Squamish, Líl̓wat, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations), the City of Vancouver and the RMOW, to develop the Games Hosting Concept.
While initial financial estimates were released by the COC team earlier this month, the staff report states that more clarity is needed regarding financing and indemnifying public investments into the 2030 Games, and once resolved, a variety of agreements will be required in a short timeline to articulate roles and commitments from all partners and senior levels of government.
“It is important RMOW honour its agreement with the four host nations and completes additional work to more fully inform a bid for Council to consider,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “There are more questions to be answered and the right conditions for moving forward must be in place before a bid can be endorsed. We are committed to working together to create a better way forward; a way forward that respects the TRC calls to action and the spirit of reconciliation in action we embraced when we accepted the invitation to participate in the work just six months ago.
“Doing the work on this Indigenous led bid has been one of the greatest honours of my life so far. To cut this work short would preemptively end the Indigenous led bid we voted to participate in, before we have gathered the information needed to make a well-informed decision.”
The 2030 Games has the potential to help accelerate multiple aspects of the current Whistler Official Community Plan including reconciliation, workforce housing, sustainable transportation, and others.
Based on various community engagement activities led by both the COC and the RMOW over the past month, the proposed vision and concept for the project has generally received positive community feedback. There have been around 1200 engagement touchpoints through workshops and community events so far. When asked in the Community Life Survey about the most important considerations in considering a bid, the top three areas included developing workforce housing, minimizing financial risk for the municipality and the opportunity to develop new transportation initiatives—all top priorities of the municipality.
Confirmation of the RMOW’s participation in a formal bid, and any associated commitments and contributions, including more detail on a Whistler Athletes’ Village site would be the subject of a future report to Council.
Specifically, the staff report contained recommendations for continued work to:
- Develop draft proposed financial contributions acceptable to the RMOW for the 2030 Games
- Draft a term sheet that would contemplate the RMOW’s potential participation in a 2030 Games bid and an associated Multi-Party Agreement for further Council consideration; and
- Report back to Council at a future Regular Council meeting to seek a decision as to whether to advance RMOW participation in the 2030 Games bid and the consequent advancement of an Olympic Village Project once certain conditions have been satisfied.
Those conditions include that:
- The Leadership Assembly has made public its recommendation about whether or not the 2030 Games should move forward to a formal bid;
- The COC and/or the Leadership Assembly has confirmed that the RMOW will be appropriately indemnified for its role as an Olympic Host Community and sufficient clarity concerning financial and in-kind contributions is provided;
- The COC has finalized and shared with the RMOW the operating and governance models for the 2030 Games bid