Should B.C. bail out the PNE/Playland?

Poll: Playland bailout

"The PNE needs our help now, otherwise, and to be frank, we risk losing it."

The City of Vancouver is asking the Province for $8 million in emergency aid to help save the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) after the date to reopen Playland was postponed.

PNE President and CEO Shelly Frost told reporters in a press briefing Friday (April 30) that the future of the amusement park was at stake due to unprecedented financial losses incurred over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Frost stated that "all of the major events had to be cancelled in 2020" and that the PNE is a staggering $8 million in debt. "We are forecasted to be $15 million in debt by the end of 2021," she added.

As a not-for-profit organization, however, the PNE continues to be excluded from federal and provincial grants and funding. Recovery would take a decade and a half and would "forever change this organization and what we bring to B.C. would be altered," she said.

"We provide 4,300 jobs, 9,500 indirect jobs and we generate $200 million in economic impact for the region."

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