FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Blaine Higgs announced today that the 2021 Jeux de la Francophonie will not move forward in New Brunswick due to increased costs and a lack of funding commitment from Ottawa.
“The 2021 Jeux de la Francophonie internationale are an important cultural and sporting event. We recognize the value the games could bring to New Brunswick.” said Premier Blaine Higgs, “However, upon taking office we were made aware that the costs of these games had increased by over seven times what was originally forecasted. We had hoped that we could work with partners to find alternate funding solutions to cover these costs, but unfortunately that has not happened.”
The provincial government had set aside $10 million for the 2021 games. The original estimate for hosting the games was $17 million. In November 2018, the province was informed the costs had increased to $130 million. In addition to the provincial government, the funding partners include the federal Department of Science and Sport, as well as the cities of Moncton and Dieppe.
Higgs said that the federal government’s funding formula to support major sporting events is inadequate.
“This was a very difficult decision. We wanted these games to move forward,” said Higgs. “Without additional funding from the federal government hosting an event that could cost up to $130 million is irresponsible.”
Higgs said the provincial government will be naming a representative to the organizing committee’s board of directors to begin the formal cancellation process.
The ninth Games of La Francophonie were awarded to New Brunswick in 2015.