If this wasn't so sad it would be funny. It's a perfect example why municipalities shouldn't even think about hosting things like the Pan American Games.
I've always been an opponent of Toronto hosting the Olympics Games because I was convinced that we'd end up like so many other cities with a sea of corruption, debt and regret.
When it was announced a couple of years ago that David Miller and his whacky crew had landed the Pan American Games I honestly couldn't believe it..
Forget that it was an invitation to pour money down the drain, the optics were horrible.
One of the greatest cities on earth was admitting to the rest of the world that after losing out of the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, we were willing to settle for a third rate side show like the Pan Am Games.
The recipe for disaster was scrumptious.
A shitty event being backed by arguably the worst Mayor the city of Toronto has even known. It was just a matter of time before this thing started to go south, and today we got the first indication.
Turns out Mayor Miller, in his quest to leave some kind of a legacy, failed to disclose a few million dollars in costs along the way. But what the hell, I guess if he mentioned it the Games wouldn't have happened and if he didn't he'd be out of office before he had to worry about it.
Today Toronto's executive committee was presented with a 23 million dollar bill to clean up the Morningside Landfill Site, which will be the location of the Pan Am Aquatic Centre.
It was thought that the land would be handed over to the Games as is, but Games organizers had made it clear that it had to be in ready-to-build condition. "Any lands that we transferred to Toronto 2015 and Infrastructure Ontario in April 2012 must be properly zoned and fully remediated or ready to be built upon."
But this information was allegedly withheld, and now Toronto pays.
But there's more. Part of any project like this is cost over-run and already it's blasting through the roof. Councillors were also told today that the city's share of building the aquatic centre has grown by $21.3 million because of inflation.
So let's do the math.
In February 2009 cost estimate for the City of Toronto was 49 million. Today, in January of 2011, four years before the games have even happened, that figure has ballooned to 96.5 million.
What a freakin' mess. Predictable, but a freakin' mess just the same.