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Council discusses potential Olympic bid plebiscite, funding structure
Published Monday, April 23, 2018 7:05AM MDT
Last Updated Monday, April 23, 2018 6:29PM MDT
A proposed plebiscite to gauge citizen support for a potential Calgary bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games, and the plebiscite’s estimated $1.9 million price tag, was discussed by Calgary City Council on Monday.
Last week, council decided, by a vote of 9-6, to continue exploring a potential bid. Ward Sutherland surprised many by voting in favour of keeping the process alive but the Ward 1 councillor tells CTV Calgary that his support for a bid hinges on a report, expected to be released in June, that will detail the potential economic impact of hosting the 2026 Games.
“If the financial deal does not make sense for the City of Calgary, it will end there,” said Sutherland. “If the financial deal does make sense, then council would vote on it or reconfirm it and then it would go to a plebiscite.”
Sutherland says the findings of the report will ensure Calgarians are informed ahead of a potential plebiscite. “This is exactly what’s going on. This is what it’s going to cost Calgarians. Do you want the Olympics or not?”
If a plebiscite is approved, it would likely take place between October 2018 and February 2019. Under election law, plebiscites are non-binding meaning council does not have to side with the results.
Council was also expected to designate the five members of a council subcommittee, that will include Mayor Nenshi, on the potential Olympic bid.
A focus of Monday's council meeting was an advertisement that appeared in the Calgary Herald this weekend looking to fill the positions of chair and CEO of the bid committee.
With files from CTV's Kevin Green