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Both sides of the Olympic debate hold rallies days before the big vote
Published Saturday, November 10, 2018 4:28PM MST
Last Updated Saturday, November 10, 2018 6:29PM MST
Opponents and proponents of Calgary’s potential 2026 bid held two separate rallies in the city on Saturday aimed at gathering support ahead of the November 13 vote.
Those against the bid gathered at Olympic Plaza, saying that there isn’t enough information to form an opinion.
“That means that now is not the time for the Olympics to be brought to Calgary,“ said Megan McCaffery, executive director of Common Sense Calgary.
McCaffery says that the budget is also scheduled to come out the day after the plebiscite vote and indications are that it won’t be pretty.
“Now is not a good time to be restricting the economy with increased taxation and all of those other consequences that are going to come from hosting this bid. We need to be focused on things that are going to be priorities for infrastructure in Calgary and the Olympics doesn’t make sense as a priority right now.”
Meanwhile, the Calgary 2026 group held an event at the Olympic Oval on Saturday, inviting the public to experience a bit of the memorabilia at the facility there.
Olympic athlete Helen Upperton says that Calgarians have a big decision on Tuesday but it’s an important investment to consider.
“For me it’s an amazing opportunity for our city, for our community, for our country. We need to invest in the infrastructure that’s over 30 years old anyway as a city or we are going to lose our ability to be a world leader in winter sport.”
Upperton says that when the Olympics come around, there is a lot of support for her sport and even moreso when they take place in Canada.
“I actually think Calgary can show the world how the Olympics can be done really well. We’re so great at welcoming the world.”
Ward 11 councillor Jeromy Farkas says that he wants to make sure that Calgarians have all the information they need before the vote on Tuesday.
“There is still so much uncertainty around the financial cost and the risk involved and so on. I wanted to push it as far as I could go and get as much of the information and facts as I could. It’s not really about my opinions; it’s about treating Calgarians like adults.”
The plebiscite vote will take place on November 13, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
(With files from Alesia Fieldberg)