Sources tell us that Beijing and Toronto are the two favourites for the games. While many Canadians are crossing their fingers and holding their breath, I'd like to ask how sure are you that you want the Olympic Games in Toronto?
Is it the prestige? The publicity? The fireworks maybe? These are all great things to have, but there are many problems associated with hosting the Olympic Games too. First and foremost is the huge cost of improving city services and facilities such as transport, and sporting venues. Secondly is the cost on general and emergency services, expanding them to fulfill the need of such a large event could easily run into millions.
Without the games, much of this cost could be used in many areas around city, and would result in lower tax rates, as it is not necessary to foot the giant bill for an oversized, worldwide party. But it all depends how much you want the games.
On another side of the debate, however, I would prefer Toronto get the Olympic bid over Beijing. What's my reasoning? According to Amnesty International, China has executed over 1,780 people in a three-month period, more than the rest of the worlds combined total over the past three years. Chinese authorities may be executing innocent people in quick trials to show quick results, Amnesty International said. It is not commonly known that the most common execution method in China is a single shot in the back of the head. This behavior is unacceptable.
In my opinion a prospective Olympic host city should not be permitted in a country with such a disregard for human rights, and I feel that Beijing should be made to withdraw its bid. It would appear, however, that the IOC in Moscow does not hold the same opinion. Earlier today several peaceful protestors were arrested after holding up large flags depicting the Olympic rings as bullet holes outside the office of the IOC officials.
Although I do think the games will have a financial impact on Toronto, I would love to see them here. It is on the cards, and Friday will show us just what 2008 has in store for us.