Councillors calling on City Council to include Calgarians in all aspects of 2026 Olympic Bid exploration

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The City Council agreed that a public vote is necessary to decide whether it is in the best interest of Calgarians, to move forward with any further investment into the bid process for a 2026 Calgary Winter Olympics.

“If the public doesn’t know and doesn’t have the information…’how can you make a decision’?”

Several Councillors expressed concern with how the City has dealt with transparency and errors resulting from the Council’s interest in hosting the Winter Games.

Ward 5 City Councillor, George Chahal believes the public has a right to know what they are signing up for, instead of allowing the city to move forward in the process, without consulting Calgarian’s first.

“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, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision?”

Ward 4 Councillor, Sean Chu agrees that the City needs to include Calgarian’s in their decision making.

Chahal is also concerned with how the city has set up a sub committee tasked with public outreach on the Olympics that currently only include members with a vested interest in hosting the games.

He believes that including members of the public will result in a fair approach which will give the city a non-biased review of the public’s interest.

Chu agrees with Chahal’s concerns and said that many of his community members are also concerned with a subcommittee that only consists of “cheerleaders” for the Olympics.

If Calgary decides to move forward with a potential bid, the city could see an additional multi-billion dollars spent towards upgrading winter sports facilities built for the Calgary 88′ Winter Olympics, as well as building new ones.

 

 

-Cindy Letic

 

 

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Olympic bid indecision saga continues for city council

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Debate over Calgary’s proposed Olympic bid continued Tuesday, as city councillors agreed that a vote is needed on whether or not council will continue to pursue the idea of hosting the 2026 Games.

The notion of a potential bid has divided councillors, with many citing a lack of transparency and public engagement as central concerns.

 “I think we should be concerned with the level of transparency because if the public doesn’t know and doesn’t have the information, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision?”

– Ward 5 Councillor George Chahal

Councillor George Chahal is calling for greater transparency and public involvement in the process, saying council “should be concerned with the level of transparency” surrounding the decision.

In an attempt to involve Calgarians, council decided to form a subcommittee tasked with public outreach. A few councillors however, including Chahal, have expressed dissatisfaction over the subcommittee, due to the perception that it has been filled with people that stand to benefit from the Olympics coming to Calgary.

Chahal admitted he believes it’s important to have the subcommittee, but that perhaps council should “tinker with it, and add some members of the public to add some additional oversight.”

Councillor Sean Chu agreed with Chahal’s sentiment, identifying the subcommittee as a “cheerleader” for the bid, that may not be entirely neutral.

A lack of neutrality regarding engagement with the public will remain a concern, if council’s vote proves to support the progression towards a bid.

— Danica Ferris

 

Calgary’s Olympic bid sliding off course

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Calgary’s 2026 Winter Olympic bid isn’t receiving perfect scores from everyone involved.

A city council committee agreed on Tuesday that a vote is needed on if Calgary should proceed with any further investment into the bid process.

“I think we should be concerned with the level of transparency”

This vote has some city councilors speaking out about the lack of transparency and lack of neutrality on the city’s Olympic project team.

City councilor George Chahal says, “I think we should be concerned with the level of transparency because if the public doesn’t know and doesn’t have the information, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision?”

While the Olympic project team’s subcommittee to gather public outreach is causing some controversy, Chahal believes it is a necessity.

“I think it’s important to have a subcommittee and maybe tinker with it and add some members of the public to add some additional oversight.”

Chahal also states the whole point of BidCo is for the city to have an independent oversight when it comes to making decisions on the Olympics.

As the bid deadline draws closer and the amount of turmoil increases, Calgary’s chances of hosting the 2026 Olympics are slowly sliding away.

-Mason DePatie