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Canmore town council votes in favour of supporting Calgary Olympic bid
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 8:27PM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2018 8:14AM MST
By a vote of 6-1, the members of Canmore town council have elected to join a potential Calgary bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The town has pledged its conditional support for a bid based on the requirement that all of Canmore’s operational costs for hosting the games would be covered by the funding contributions of the federal and provincial governments.
Mayor John Borrowman and councillors Esme Comfort, Vi Sandford, Karen Marra, Rob Seeley and Jeff Hilstad voted in favour of supporting Calgary’s bid.
Councillor Joanna McCallum was the lone council member to vote against the bid. “I’m still struggling to understand how this is going to affect and make change in terms of our economic diversification,” McCallum told her fellow councillors. “We have a lot of physiotherapists. We have a lot of sports medicine people.”
McCallum also questioned the impact an Olympics could have on the cost of housing in Canmore citing the significant leap in real estate prices Whistler experienced following the 2010 Olympic Games.
Canmore is slated to receive a 1,250 bed athlete village should Calgary bid and be selected as the host of the 2026 Games. The athlete village would cost an estimated $116 million and the facilities would be converted to affordable housing after the games. The cost to the Town of Canmore for the athlete village is pegged at $4 million cash and $6 million worth of land.
The Canmore Nordic Centre would also be upgraded ahead of the 61 total events it would host for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Canmore is also the proposed site for the medal ceremonies for the individual events of the Paralympics and would require the construction of a celebration plaza capable of hosting upwards of 5,000 people.