Madam Speaker, since 1951 the Pan American Games have brought athletes from across the Americas together in the spirit of competition and excellence.
The most recent host city, Rio de Janeiro, welcomed over 5,000 athletes and saw the participation of 42 countries. These numbers will only grow each time the games are held.
Toronto is up against the fine cities of Lima and Bogota, but we are also confident of the excellence of our outstanding bid.
The greater Toronto area would benefit enormously from hosting the games. Upward of 15,000 jobs would be created and economic benefits in the range of $2 billion would mean improvements in public transit, revitalized sports infrastructure and the construction of affordable housing.
This bid is a significant opportunity to show our many attributes to our neighbours across the Americas and indeed around the world.
Along with all residents of Toronto and my colleagues here in Parliament, I would like to congratulate and thank the many individuals who put together our bid for the games. Their hard work and dedication is appreciated. We share their excitement today as we wait for the announcement.