Statement made on 26 October 2010 by Senator Claudette Tardif
Hon. Claudette Tardif (Deputy Leader of the Opposition):
Honourable senators, I rise today to inform you of my home city of Edmonton's bid to host Expo 2017.
Honourable senators will remember the success of Expo 67 in Montreal and Expo 86 in Vancouver. The same success is expected for Edmonton if it is selected to host the international exposition. Expo 2017 will build on the international awareness and national pride built during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. It will also put Canada, Alberta and Edmonton at the forefront of the world stage.
The City of Edmonton has chosen "Energy and Our Planet" as its theme for Expo 2017. It will highlight Alberta's success in the energy sector, as well as showcase our innovate solutions to answer tomorrow's energy needs.
Honourable senators, 2017 will also be an important year for all Canadians, as it will mark the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Confederation, as well as the one hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Expo 2017 is Canada's opportunity to showcase the "New West," a diverse, prosperous and outward-looking region that is a model for growth and innovation. Given Edmonton's status as a gateway to the north, this will also provide Canada with the opportunity to tell its northern story.
The host city, Edmonton, has a rich history marked by immigration. The first settlers in the region were the Aboriginal peoples of western Canada. Then, francophones and anglophones settled on the land that would become Alberta in 1905. Edmonton, a multicultural city, is an ideal location for Expo 2017.
The organizers of Expo 2017 are expecting major economic spinoffs, with an estimated increase in GDP of $2.6 billion. Expo 2017 would create over 37,000 jobs and bring in over 5 million visitors.
In May 2010, the Government of Alberta announced its support for Expo 2017. We are still waiting to hear from the federal government. As of October 2010, two other cities, Liège in Belgium and Astana in Kazakhstan, have declared their intention to bid for the event. I truly hope that the Government of Canada will offer the financial support required rapidly in order to finalize the bid and give its full support to the City of Edmonton to host this international event.