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Ward 11 News: Update on Olympic Debate

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Ward 11 official websiteBecause Council debated the Olympics into the very late evening, the media coverage has been incomplete. To be clear, Council did not actually get the opportunity to vote for or against the bid. 
Council had a vote to re-confirm the plebiscite and its date, and whether City Administration should continue scrutinizing the financials provided by BidCo. I voted in support of both these motions.
Based on the financial, legal, and security risks provided to me in the secret meetings, I would have voted against the bid if that was an option.
I voted against keeping this information confidential because I believe you have a right to know how your money may be spent and what trade-offs may be necessary to host the games. I also voted against the City Manager being authorized to negotiate and conclude the Multi-Party Agreement, because I think a mandate hasn’t yet been given by Calgarians.

Why I am opposed to a bid

 I am opposed to a bid for the 2026 Olympics but believe that Calgarians should have their say – based on the full facts about risks and benefits.
After more than two years of exploring an Olympic bid, estimated costs to host this three-week event are still fuzzy and they just don’t add up. For example, we are told that security costs will be 40 per cent less in 2026 than what Vancouver spent in 2010. That doesn’t make sense to me, especially since the hosting plan that we saw for the 2026 Games is spread over several cities, towns, and two provinces. I struggle with Calgarian property taxpayers potentially having to bear the burden of infrastructure and security costs for venues in Whistler and Canmore.
Our city’s ability to shoulder the billions of dollars these games will cost weighs heavy on my mind. We do not yet have confirmation of funding from other levels of government and many infrastructure projects that Calgarians have said they’d like to see, such as a new arena, a new football stadium, and an LRT line to the airport, have not been included in this plan. In my view, the impact to essential services is not worth the benefits as projected at this point.

Next steps

The Olympic Plebiscite will be held on November 13. In the next two months, my priority will be ensuring Calgarians receive as much information as possible in advance of the plebiscite, so they may make an informed decision.

Olympic Plebiscite advance voting will be on November 6 and 7 from 11am to 7 pm.  There will be a voting station in each ward.  The University of Calgary and Mount Royal University will have a day of advance voting and 68 seniors centres will have the vote during that same time. 
I am supporting a bylaw amendment to allow mail-in ballots. If Council passes the bylaw, they will be available as of October 1, 2018. 
Updated information will be available at

This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward 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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