Halifax regional council committed in April to spend $1 million on the World Junior Championship according to a report declassified this week.
Amid the scandal over Hockey Canada’s handling of sexual assault allegations, councillors received an update last month on the tournament. As the Halifax Examiner reported, they didn’t vote to cancel the event. But they did vote to declassify and release a private and confidential report from the spring.
The municipality declassified the report by deputy chief administrative officer Denise Schofield, dated April 1, on Monday. It outlined HRM’s bid for the tournament.
Hockey Canada invited Halifax to bid after the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) pulled the tournament from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Halifax, in a joint bid with Moncton, won the rights to host the event in May.
“The expected government funding for the 2023 WJHC is approximately $5 Million. That government funding is proposed to be shared between ACOA, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Province of New Brunswick, the City of Moncton and HRM. The share of funding proposed from HRM was $1 Million,” Schofield wrote.
“This along with approximately $2 Million from the Province (pending approval) places Halifax as the lead of the bid, which is appropriate as HRM was invited to apply by Hockey Canada and is the larger city.”
The amount is higher than HRM has contributed to similar events in the past. The municipality spent $800,000 on the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships and $300,000 on the 2019 Memorial Cup.
Council debated the motion during its in camera session on April 5. It voted to approve the $1 million commitment. The motion passed unanimously, according to the minutes, with councillors Waye Mason, Lindell Smith, and Patty Cuttell absent.
The Examiner has asked the provincial government to confirm it committed $2 million. We’ll update this article with the response.
Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage spokesperson Mikaela Etchegary confirmed the provincial government “is investing $2 million in the championship.”
What I meant is to ask if the municipality is funding local organizers in the two cities or cutting a cheque to Hockey Canada? I know in the case of figure skating and curling such championships were run by local groups who after paying the “fee” or “rights” to the national group essentially ran their own show within the general parameters of the events. We know from the CBC report https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/halifax-moncton-2023-world-junior-hockey-championship-1.6442613 that a fee was paid, probably to Hockey Canada although the CBC was non-specific, to acquire the rights to host the event.
I still think the Examiner’s headline in the Morning file for this was going to places where the story and facts as presented, didn’t go.
Either Hockey Canada pays the Metro Centre or the city does. If the city pays, it is in effect giving Hockey Canada the money.
If you go to the grocery store, and I pay the bill, I’m giving you money. Sobeys gets the money regardless, they don’t care who pays.
The Morning File “headline” is “HRM gives $1 million to organization that covered up sexual assault”. The actual report is titled “Halifax to contribute $1 million to World Junior Hockey Championship” and doesn’t actually say who is receiving the money. Is it a commitment to a local organizing group or to Hockey Canada? It’s also not clear who holds the loss if the event occurs one. I am also a bit surprised the city report advising this expenditure is so lacking in information on which HRM Council could then base its decision.
The money comes from the HRM hotel tax, a 2% tax on every room sold and is collected by HRM to fund major events. The tax details and exemptions here : https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/legislation-by-laws/By-LawH-400.pdf
The money comes from the Options Reserve Q421, which is not funded by the hotel levy.