Statement made on 17 November 2009 by Senator Tommy Banks (retired)
Hon. Tommy Banks:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Much of Canada is quite properly focused on the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in February 2010. However, for youth in the northern regions of the world, there is another event on which they are focused. From March 6 to 13, 2010, nearly 2,000 international youth from regions north of the sixty-fifth parallel will gather in Grande Prairie, Alberta, to compete and to share cultural knowledge and experience. This is a unique opportunity to showcase Canada's North and specifically to show what Canada and northern Alberta have to offer the youth of the world's northern regions.
Some orders of government understand the significance of this event, but others seem perhaps to not quite understand it. To date, the province of Alberta has committed $1.5 million; the City of Grande Prairie has committed $1.5 million, of which $500,000 will be in cash; and the County of Grande Prairie has committed $500,000 in cash, plus gifts in kind. That means that so far there are commitments by the other orders of government of $2.5 million in cash, plus gifts in kind. The Government of Canada has to this point committed $400,000.
With every other order of government stepping up to ensure a quality games event and that our best foot is put forward to the youth of the world, would the leader ask her government to find out whether it will increase its commitment to match those of the other orders of government and, in so doing, help make the 2009 Arctic Winter Games the best since they began in 1970?
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