The pursuit for Calgary’s 2026 Winter Olympic bid might be slipping away.
A City Council committee meeting held on Tuesday agreed that a vote is needed before putting more investments into the Olympic bid process.
Several councilors argue that a lack of transparency and neutrality from the city’s Olympic project team has left many Calgarians confused and uncertain. Councilors are also concerned about the decision to fill a subcommittee tasked with public outreach from people who stand to benefit from a future Olympics.
“If the public doesn’t know about the information, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision?”
Another Olympics in Calgary could mean a multi-billion dollar influx for project around Calgary, such as upgrading the city’s 40 year old winter sport facilities and creating new ones.
Councilor of ward 5 George Chahal says “We should be concerned with the level of transparency because if the public doesn’t know about the information, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision.” Chahal also thinks the whole point of the BidCo is to have independent oversight with all partners involved and the subcommittee is an important part of that.
But not all councilors are seeing eye to eye, Ward 4’s Councilor Sean Chu says the public is concerned that many people on the subcommittee are “Cheerleaders” for the Olympic bid.
As Calgarians question what is going on and if their concerns are being heard, some councilors are saying the bid may already be a lost cause. Hopefully the upcoming vote can give the city a better idea of how to move forward and open the door for more transparency.