Calgary’s pursuit of the 2026 Winter Olympic Games may have been killed in its tracks. City Council agreed on Tuesday that they need to vote on whether or not to advance in the Olympic bid process.
“Well I think we should be concerned with the level of transparency because if the public doesn’t know and doesn’t have the information… how can you make you make a decision.”
This sudden change of direction came after some councillors raised concerns about a lack of neutrality and transparency on the Olympic project team. Ward 1 Councillor Ward Sutherland says, “we should be concerned with the level of transparency because if the public doesn’t know and doesn’t have the information… how can you make a decision.”
Other concerns were on the city’s decision to create a sub-committee designated for public outreach which is filled with people who will benefit from the Olympics coming to Calgary.
“I think it’s important to have that subcommittee and maybe tinker with it and add some members of the public to add some additional oversight….”
Not all councillors are against having the subcommittee. Ward 4 Councillor Sean Chu says a lot of the public asks the subcommittee to be a cheerleader for the winter games.
Ward Sutherland has also said, “…it’s important to have that subcommittee and maybe tinker with it and add some members of the public to add some additional oversight but that’s the whole point of a BidCo. The whole point of going to a BidCo is so we have that independent oversight with all partners involved in making a decision.”
If Calgary does move forward with a bid this could mean a multi-billion dollar influx for projects all around Calgary, upgrades to some of the original sports facilities from the 1988 Winter Olympics and funding for new facilities.
Even with these projected perks some councillors are already saying this bid is a lost cause, making it harder to imagine a Calgary Olympics for 2026.
— Louise van Dam