Since 1967 when our country celebrated its centennial, the best and brightest of our young athletes have enjoyed a wonderful opportunity to strut their stuff at the Canada Games.
They happen every two years, alternating between summer and winter. Manitoba is scheduled to host the Summer Games in 2017, and it looked like Brandon would be the place. They were the only city to bid for the event.
Apparently Brandon’s bid was dead from the start because the city’s largest swimming pool is too small. It has six lanes, but the tall foreheads who run the Canada Games have decreed that there must be at least eight lanes, or the event just doesn’t happen – simple as that.
Brandon City Council was prepared to spend a quarter of a million dollars to put in a formal bid, in the hope that there was room for compromise, but it seems there wasn’t any such room. City council says that other than the Canada Games, there’s simply no need for an eight lane pool.
The government of Manitoba now has until the end of January to persuade Winnipeg to put together a bid. The capital city certainly has the facilities, having twice hosted the Pan Am games. But one of the big pluses of the Canada Games is the facilities that they bring to communities much smaller than Winnipeg.
Regina and Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Lethbridge are just a few of the places whose athletic communities have been given a tremendous boost by hosting the Canada Games. So has Brandon for that matter. They hosted the Winter Games in 1979, and the Summer Games in 1997.
It makes you wonder what they did to put people off, and ensure that the games would not come back. I really find it hard to believe that it hinges on the size of the pool.
I’m Roger Currie