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City’s Expo bid unclear

It appears Edmonton’s city council doesn't know if the Alberta government will shell out cash to bring in the world’s largest fair to the province’s capital in 2017.

It appears Edmonton’s city council doesn't know if the Alberta government will shell out cash to bring in the world’s largest fair to the province’s capital in 2017.

In a meeting yesterday, Coun. Tony Caterina asked administration to find out if the city’s proposal for Expo 2017 is dead, after saying that he heard Premier Ed Stelmach say “no” to provincial support during Tuesday’s Grey Cup game announcement.

“Given the provincial response and the premier’s response to the (Expo) here and their answer being no, I’d like to know from administration how far we are with Phase II,” said Caterina, referring to the status of the city’s bid process.

“I happened to be there and he didn’t say no, councillor,” responded Mayor Stephen Mandel.

During the Grey Cup announcement, Stelmach hinted at having more events coming to Edmonton, but he never commented on whether or not the province would help fund a bid for the Expo.

Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett, who is responsible for Expo file for the Alberta government, didn’t return Metro’s request for an interview.

But Stelmach said in October that government has already made commitments to help the city in its bid to host the University Games in 2015.

“Anything further from here has to be thoroughly reviewed,” said Stelmach.

“I can tell you our commitments are health, education, infrastructure and we have to be very careful on making commitments down the road.”

City council unanimously voted last fall in favour of moving forward with phase two of the bidding process in bringing the World Expo in 2017 — with the expectation the province would match the city’s $2.25 million to do it.

If successful in bringing the Expo to Edmonton, both governments can expect a $1.6-billion to $3-billion price tag to host the event.

 
 
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