A last-ditch attempt to save Victoria's bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been launched by a group of local businessmen who have agreed to cover the cost of any overruns if the city stages the event.
It seemed that bid was over last month after the Provincial Government in British Columbia announced it would not support it.
But now 10 business leaders, including David Black, leader of Victoria 2022, have come forward to announce they are willing to underwrite it.
Besides Black, owner of Canada's largest private publisher Black Press, they include Bob Saunders, former owner of Saunders Subaru, former President of Canadian junior football team Westshore Rebels, and Ken Taylor, owner of several McDonald’s restaurants.
"We’re taking that cost off the table for taxpayers," Black told The Times-Colonist newspaper.
"Basically, they are business people who have some financial wherewithal and recognize how good this is for Victoria.
“Private individuals are stepping up to take on cost overrun guarantees, which is proof positive that there won’t be one,"
Black is optimistic the support of the business leaders will persuade British Columbia Financa Minister Carole James to meet him and discuss the bid.
The leaders would need to commit up to CAD$400 million (£245 million/$316 million€269 million) between them to underwrite the Games.
A similar sum would be required from the Federal Governments for things like security.
Canada has not hosted the Commonwealth Games since Victoria in 1994.
The new initiative is unlikely to salvage Victoria's bid, however, as British Columbia Premier John Hogan revealed the Canadian Government is targetting a bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.
That event would mark the centenary of the event, first held in Hamilton in 1930 when they were called the British Empire Games.
"In my discussions with the Prime Minister [Justin Trudeau], the Federal Government is looking at 2030, which would be the 100th anniversary of the Commonwealth Games and an ideal opportunity for Canada to come together and support a bid," Hogan told The Times-Colonist.
"Now is not the time.
"I appreciate Mr Black’s efforts, and if the private sector wants to step up and cover all the costs, that’s up to them."
A proposal for Hamilton to bid in 2030 was rejected by the City Council earlier this week but the decision could be overturned at another meeting on Wednesday (September 13).
The Commonwealth Games Federation have set a deadline of September 30 for cities to submit bids to replace Durban as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The South African city were awarded the Games in September 2015 but stripped of them in March this year following their failure to meet a series of financial deadlines.
The CGF will almost certainly want to see firm evidence of Government support from any bid.
The UK Government announced on Thursday (September 7) that they will back a bid from Birmingham providing the city can put forward a compelling business case which shows "clear value for taxpayers' money" to receive Government funding towards an official bid.
Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital which hosted the 1998 Commonwealth Games, are also interested in bidding but so far do not have Government support.