October 15. NoCalgaryOlympics is asking City Council to come clean and share its understanding of costs and risks to Calgarians of continuing with the Olympic Bid.
- What is the updated risk to Calgary taxpayers based on the Alberta Government funding announcement and their refusal to cover cost overruns or provide International Olympic Committee-required guarantees?
- What does Council know today about the increased impact on Calgarians – for both business and residential taxes — if Olympics hosting is in the budget?
- What cost is too much for hosting the Olympics? What is the investment required from the City of Calgary to host the Olympics, including Olympics-inspired projects? Is that cost manageable?
It is time for these questions to be answered by City Council. We now have a clear understanding of the Alberta Government’s support – and the conditions for that support. (No cost overrun coverage, no provision of IOC-required guarantees, improved transparency.)
Further, last week City Council received a detailed briefing with a 4-hour, closed-door discussion about reduced property tax revenues and the possibility of making up that revenue through tax increases. However, the information Council heard and considered has not yet been made public.
Not only is the spectre of increased property taxes concerning, there is now additional apprehension because of the shortfall of $300 million in anticipated Olympic Games support from the Provincial Government.
Everyone involved with the Calgary2026 bid repeated that this won’t be “Olympics at any cost.” Well, Calgarians need to know what that cost is and whether Council believes it to be a manageable cost.
Have we crossed a line?
Is Calgary2026 no longer a reasonable risk?
NoCalgaryOlympics will press for these answers to ensure Calgarians are well informed, well in advance of the plebiscite.