Olympics or no-lympics? Conflicting council could jeopardize bid

Olympic Torch

Recently, it’s been one of the hottest discussions at city hall: should Calgary host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games?

Calgary City Council has been divided on the issue since day one of discussion, but now the difference of opinion could mean no Olympics for Calgary.

“…we should be concerned with the level of transparency…” – George Chahal, ward 5 councilor

Some councilors have shown concern about the neutrality of the issue, and how committees tasked with searching for answers about the issue have been constructed.

George Chahal, ward 5 councilor said “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?”, where other councilors think an Olympics subcommittee could help the process.

Sean Chu, ward 4 councilor, thinks a subcommittee in support of the Olympics isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but the push-back from other councilors could be the ultimate bid-killer.

Chahal also noted the necessity of a subcommittee, but reinforced the importance of having the public be part of it.

Calgarians could have more of a voice about the issue if the public gets added to the mix, but in the mean time councilors will continue to “duke it out” until the ultimate decision is made.

-Danny Seymour


Is Calgary’s Olympic Bid on thin ice?

Olympic Torch

The prospect of another Olympics in Calgary is exiting to many people, and the 88′ Olympics in Calgary were the last Olympics to make a profit. So the decision on whether or not to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics should an easy one, right? Not for city council.

A council subcommittee has decided that a vote is needed to determine whether or not to continue Calgary’s Olympic Bid proses. But this subcommittee is raising questions of its own, and many councilors are concerned about the lack of transparency within the committee.

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

George Chahal, Ward 5 Councilor, expressed how he was “concerned with the level of transparency” from the subcommittee.¬†He also continued on saying “If the public doesn’t know and have the information, which I was advocating for, how can you make a decision”

But Chahal is not opposed to a subcommittee, saying “I think it’s important to have a subcommittee” continuing on saying “the whole point of going to a bidco is so we have that independent oversight with all partners involved in the decision.”

Sean Chu, Ward 4, said that he heard many people calling¬† the subcommittee “cheerleader” for the Olympic bid.

The vote is expected to come soon, and then we’ll know if the bid is dead, or will gain a second life.

Jordan Bay, April 17th, 2018