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Quebec rejects bid for 2021 Francophonie Games bid, citing cost and time crunch


QUEBEC — The Quebec government has abandoned the idea of bidding to hold the 2021 Francophonie Games in Sherbrooke, Que., after concluding the price tag was too high.

International Relations Minister Nadine Girault, said Friday the conditions were not right to stage a successful games.

"The winning conditions were not there to have a solid candidacy," she said in a telephone interview. "It was important to me that the Francophonie Games be obtained while respecting Quebecers' capacity to pay."

Quebec's decision comes after New Brunswick dropped the games in January, citing ballooning costs. New Brunswick said the budget had risen to $130 million from an original bid of $17 million.

The event brings together 3,000 athletes and artists from la Francophonie's more than 50 member states.

After Sherbrooke came forward as a potential host, the Quebec government said it was prepared to pay $17 million, but Ottawa would have to pay the majority of the bill if the event were to be staged in the province.

An aide to Girault said that for the games to go ahead, Quebec would have had to spend more than $30 million, and with the tight deadline there was a risk of cost overruns.

The Canadian Press