A Win for taxpayers and FAIRNESS
It doesn't happen very often, so we thought we'd quickly stop and celebrate a small win for Calgary taxpayers and fairness at City Hall.
As you may recall, Save Calgary recently shared some more details about how the Calgary 2026 Winter Olympics bid company (BidCo) was operating.
After the City claimed that no taxpayer dollars were being used to support the Yes to the Olympics Campaign, Save Calgary pointed out that the head of Bidco was in-line to receive two performance bonuses.
The first performance bonus was if Calgary were actually successful in securing the Winter Olympics, the second performance bonus kicked in if Calgarians vote "YES" in the plebiscite.
How could pro-Olympic politicians claim that no taxpayer money was being used to support the Yes to the Olympics campaign when the head of the bidding company was getting a bonus if Calgarians voted yes?
Only at City Hall could that arrangement not count as "taxpayer support."
Just recently, the head of BidCo announced that she was rejecting the two performance bonuses and even accepted a lower level of pay than what the search committee had recommended - although she's still being paid a very healthy $290,000 annual salary for her role.
This represents one small win for taxpayers and fairness in an Olympics saga that has otherwise favored big budgets and decisions made out of the public eye.
Councilors Jeromy Farkas and Sean Chu put forward a motion calling for BidCo - a taxpayer-funded organization - to have the same Freedom of Information requirements as other taxpayer-funded groups. That motion was defeated.
Save Calgary called on City Council to hold a plebiscite - they strongly resisted - only giving in when the province said it wouldn't fund the Olympic games without a city-wide vote.
Many groups have asked for detailed financial information about the games - information that was supposed to be available to us earlier in the summer. No information has been provided yet.
We intend to continue pushing for more transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility from City Hall - especially when it comes to an Olympics that could cost Calgarians billions and billions.