SHERBROOKE, Que. — After losing out to New Brunswick in the race to hold the 2021 Francophonie Games and then seeing the winner withdraw last week, Sherbrooke, Que. is contemplating a pinch-hitting role.
Sherbrooke Mayor Steve Lussier, who had initially ruled out filling in as host over concerns about the cost, announced at a meeting Monday night that council will take another look.
Lussier said the council has asked a committee to review the financial implications to ensure taxpayers are not left with a hefty bill. The quadrennial event brings together 3,000 athletes and artists from more than 50 member states that have French as a common language.
In New Brunswick, where Moncton and Dieppe were going to share hosting duties, Premier Blaine Higgs blamed the province’s decision to withdraw on the growing cost and a lack of financial support from Ottawa. The province said the budget had ballooned to $130 million from an original bid of $17 million.
Lussier said his city has been approached by the federal and provincial governments about staging the Games and will continue discussions.
Marie−Claude Bibeau, the federal minister of international development and an MP in the Sherbrooke region, said Monday the federal government would support Sherbrooke if it decides to welcome the Games.
The Canadian Press