Quesnel’s efforts to host the BC Winter Games in 2024 won’t cross the finish line.
City council heard a report from city manager Byron Johnson noting they failed to receive a letter from one of the Quesnel School District’s partners.
Quesnel had received support from Lhtako Dene Nation, School District 28, the Cariboo Regional District, and many local sports organizations, but the single outstanding letter prevented the bid from moving forward.
With the bid not due until Friday, Feb. 19, councillors desperately suggested to complete the application and get it in under the deadline, but Johnson said it would be impossible.
Not only was the required letter not received, Johnson said he didn’t think staff had enough time to deliver the bid application by Friday.
Councillor Mitch Vik was one of those looking in vain to keep the bid alive, proposing submitting the bid incomplete to be filled in later with the missing letter.
“It seems a huge shame, and frankly a waste of staff time, so much effort has already been put into this, that we throw in the towel now,” Vik said.
Johnson said it wasn’t just an issue of miscommunication.
“This is not just a misunderstanding or something they can talk out and figure out,” he said. “That’s my opinion based on the conversations I’ve had… If we’re going to host this again they need to figure out a different type of a model.”
Johnson added the application was worked on for over a year, and a solution couldn’t be found.
“Quesnel sees itself as a hosting community, and we need to figure out how to get all of our partners into that same mode,” he said.
Councillor Ron Paull tried to look for a silver lining.
“We do have one card up our sleeve, I know we’re looking at the 2024 games, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that four years down the road from that, 2028 is our 100th anniversary, and maybe that’s the target we should be aiming at,” he said.
Council passed a resolution to send out letters of thanks to the organizations which supported the bid.
The Quesnel School Board, chaired by Tony Goulet, who recused himself from council during the conversation, will be meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
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