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CALGARY OLYMPIC BID WILL GO AHEAD - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Wednesday April 11, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Calgary city council has voted to continue with Winter Olympic & Paralympic bid process following concerns last week. NEW

On Monday Calgary city council voted to keep the 2026 Winter Games bid alive.

Last week concerns over the handling of the process came to light and a vote was called for today, 16th April, to decide on whether it should continue with its pitch to host.

It was concluded by the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee last year that hosting the 2026 Olympics would cost around $4.6 billion, but that it would require $2.4 billion in funding to cover the shortfall between revenue and costs - CBC news outlet states.

Canada Athletes came together to support the bid and promote the potential benefits of Calgary hosting the Games.

The council voted 9-6 to continue to explore the possibility of bidding.


Should Calgary continue to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics?

Some city councillors are calling to stop any further work on the potential bid for fears that there isn't a majority support.

"Let's determine that now before we've spent any more money," councillor Druh Farrell said on Tuesday.

"When I read the report, it sounds a lot like the public engagement process being proposed is seeking support and that is not what we need to be doing," that Calgary Herald reported another councillor, Jyoti Gondek, to have said.

"We need to be seeking input and feedback, not seeking support. We need to see whether people are actually interested in this.

"This is not 1988, let's get over that. Let's look at what's happening now," Gondek stated.

CBC image - Calgary '88CBC image - Calgary '88


In March, a vote to keep a bid on the table narrowly passed 8-6.

And on Tuesday 10th April during a meet to dicuss a public engagement initiative of almost CAD$2 million (£1.1m), instead the committee passed a motion with a 9-1 majority for council to state its support or non-support for a bid on 16th April.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi who is in support of the bid, described the exploration process as "being in the ditch" following the recent tense debate.

"And the question is, is it worth pulling out of the ditch or not?" Nenshi was quoted as saying.

Concerns have been raised over a lack of neutrality:

The public engagement process is appearing to have turned into a quest for support, rather than seeking feedback to see whether the people are interested in hosting the Games.

The polls:

Global News outlet published last week that 56% of local citizens believe there are more benefits than risks to hosting the 2026 Olympics.

In another poll of 1,303 Canadians last month, however, 66% of those believe the city would risk going into "serious debt" if it hosted the 2026 Games.

Only 49% from last month's poll were reported to be happy for taxpayers' funds to be used.

CBC news photoCBC news photo

Among the other contenders are Sion in Switzerland, Erzurum in Turkey, a joint Italian bid from Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Graz in Austria, Sapporo in Japan and Stockholm in Sweden.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) are slated to vote on the cities to progress to the candidature stage in October in Buenos Aires.

A host is to be picked in 2019.

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