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> Glasgow Commonwealth Bid Boost, Canadians will not fund spiralling costs
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GG
post 5th Mar 2007, 09:10pm
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Glasgow's bid to host the Commonwealth Games in the city in 2014 has apparently received a welcome boost from an unexpected source: their main rivals in Canada. Organisational mistakes and political in-fighting have been taking place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. City councillors in Halifax have said that they will not support a final bid if the cost rises significantly above the original dollars 785 million budget. These developments have occurred shortly after Glasgow's other rivals, Abuja in Nigeria, conceded that Glasgow is well ahead in the race. Scotland's biggest city now appears to be the front-runner in the race for the 2014 Games.

The public squabbling concerning Halifax's bid has prompted the Premier of Nova Scotia province, Rodney MacDonald, to tell the warring factions that if they do not keep quiet, they will do irreparable damage to the province's bid, saying:
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"These types of discussions are better behind closed doors," said MacDonald. "We have to make sure through this whole process, that we don't hurt the bid process by being out there with too much talking about it, talking about numbers that may or may not be accurate."

The Canadians have already spent some 14.3 million dollars on funding the bidding process and alarm bells have been ringing in some quarters with the news that the final projected cost could exceed 1.3 billion dollars.

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) rules disallow either Glasgow or Abuja on commenting on Halifax's apparent problems, but Glasgow's organisers are will be pleasantly surprised with the developments across the Atlantic, as unanimity of political backing is generally regarded as a prerequisite for any successful major events bid.

Other problems with the Canadian bid have also surfaced, including the lack of suitable vacant land on which to house the main stadium and athletes' village developments. The Nova Scotia public have reacted with a decline in support for the bid, down from 79% to 72% according to a recent poll.

Halifax councillor Andrew Younger was forthright in his thoughts when he told a local newspaper:
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More than likely, barring unforeseen circumstances, the bid is dead..what I'm hearing is there are a lot of people on council that are fed up with the bid committee and their attitude towards the council."

Meanwhile in Glasgow EventScotland chief executive David Williams, who leaves his post on March 30th to return home to Australia for family reasons, was full of praise for Glasgow bid team, saying:
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"I am very optimistic that we will win it...Glasgow is already doing a fantastic job in regenerating the city, and the developments at Kelvingrove Art Galleries and the SECC area are world class. Put the games on top of this and the city will have the confidence to do what Brisbane did in 1982, when the Commonwealth Games were the catalyst for it becoming the fastest-growing city in the country."

The news follows talk of a 'dirty tricks' campaign against Glasgow, after a Canadian film crew made a highly-controversial film claiming that the streets of Glasgow city centre were not safe enough to place host to visitors during any future games.

See: Canadians Turn Nasty

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GG
post 6th Mar 2007, 09:49pm
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Seems Halifax is not the only bid city having problems: more than 100 local residents have formally opposed plans to redevelop the Scotstoun Leisure Centre - one of the main venues penciled in for Glasgow's 2014 Commonwealth Games, if Glasgow is successful. This follows a much higher rate of objections - nearly 800 - last year, again from local residents, who successfully objected to last year's city council proposal, which involved building a car park on football pitches at nearby Victoria Park.

As objections to the new plan for Scotstoun LC have been received, the council must automatically pass it to the Scottish Executive for a final decision.

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Elma
post 7th Mar 2007, 06:31am
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I can't believe they would consider building a car park in Victoria Park. having lived in Scotstoun from age 10 to 24 I spent a lot of time in that Park. I lived just off Danes Drive where the Scotstoun Showground, now Leisure Centre is, so it was an easy walk for us to the Park.
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Aman
post 7th Mar 2007, 08:13pm
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I picked up on a discussion on the radio today about Glasgow's bid.

Almost all who phoned in were against them, however all said they would be proud to see Scots winning medals?

What struck me about the discussion was hearing the old Calvinist attitudes surfacing. Seems we shouldn't be spending money on actually enjoying ourselves or entertainment.

All money apparently should be spent on police,education, hospitals, all very worthy, but a bit dreary.
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