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Ward 1 News: Continuation of the 2026 Olympic Bid Process

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Ward 1 official websiteContinuation of the 2026 Olympic Bid Process

Firstly, I am sure there will be some people disappointed in my decision today.  This has been an extremely divisive issue for many Calgarians.  I would appreciate that you invest the time to read this post explaining my rationale for my decision today.  It cannot be a simple sound bite and needs a pragmatic thoughtful approach and explanation.  Thank you.
 
From Day One, my approach to the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Olympic Bid has been based on sound financial decisions. My priorities have never changed. On Tuesday, April 10th in our latest Priorities and Finance Committee meeting, I was very concerned about the lack of answers and ‘red flags’ that were raised by my colleagues.  I publicly stated that would not support the reconfirm vote on the Olympic bid process to continue on Monday, April 16th.
 
Since April 10th, I have talked to hundreds of people, many who hold a wide variance of opinion on both sides.  I also found it compelling that the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, representing thousands of businesses, formally supports moving the Olympic Bid forward.  At the same time, I am concerned about overly aggressive lobby groups and whom they truly represent, as well as their tactics of misinformation.
 
I have tried to apply business practices to most items before council, as it is very concerning when the narrative is not accurate.  This is a disservice for all Calgarians on both sides.  Again, my vote is to see the Financials in June and decide if we should continue. If it is an unwise financial investment for Calgarians, I am confident it will not gain support to move forward.  If it makes sense, then the process would proceed with a plebiscite.  With the creation of a sub-committee with four councillors, I am more confident in the process now.
 
I agree there have been many missteps in the process to date, which have caused me to question my confidence in the future process. Today, an amendment was put forward which addresses my concerns.  It resolved:
 
- Council will strike a subcommittee consisting of four Councillors plus the Mayor to oversee the Olympics process (with a Councillor as the Chair)
 
- Administration will draft the terms of Reference for this committee and the City Clerk’s Office to be directed to solicit Councillor interest in serving on the committee, returning directly to Council on 2018 April 23rd.
 
I believe the prudent action is to see the what the actual financial deal will be in June.  If the deal does not benefit Calgarians, then we stop the process.  If the finances makes sense to move forward, then we proceed with a plebiscite.  The cost to wait until June will be less than $1M.  If the bid process is stopped, the $30M will be returned to the appropriate orders of government.
 
I encourage you to read the five founding conditions that were established last year and which I have supported from Day One:
 
Five Rules
 
There has been significant misinformation regarding the contributions of other orders of government and what their money can and cannot be used for.  I will address this separately in a follow-up posting.
 
For future updates, please visit www.Calgary.ca/ward1 or sign up for my monthly e-newsletter at www.WardSutherland.com
 
 

 
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.
 

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