Save Clagary From The Olympics
It's like a bad Halloween movie - Calgary's Olympics bid returning from the dead.
Yesterday, City Council's Olympics oversight committee recommended that Calgary cancel its 2026 Olympics bid.
Today, City Council voted to forge ahead with the bid anyway, even though we don't have a full and complete financial plan for hosting these Olympics games.
So, what changed between yesterday and today that brought Calgary's Olympics bid back from the grave?
The answer is a little creative accounting.
Basically, Calgary 2026 worked out a way to get more taxpayer dollars from the federal government for money the City of Calgary has already spent on other projects, they did some confusing things involving insurance premiums vs. insurance payouts, and then they magically figured out a way to cut security and housing costs by just enough to get to the numbers they need in order to make it appear as though the bid makes financial sense.
It all seems highly suspect given that Calgary 2026 has been promoting a $3 billion ask for taxpayer dollars for months - and then overnight managed to figure out a way to reduce the public dollar ask by hundreds of millions of dollars.
And the fact is, at less than two weeks until the plebiscite (and with advance polls open in less than a week), we still don't have any clear financial picture about Calgary's 2026 Olympics plan.
We were promised that we'd have a finalized financial plan one month before the plebiscite - they have totally failed in their commitment to Calgarians, and now we're being asked to sign-on to a multi-billion dollar plan without fully understanding what we're agreeing to.
And despite what Calgary 2026 is telling you, they are still huge risks associated with these Olympics.
Neither the Government of Alberta nor the Government of Canada has agreed to fully assume any risks associated with financial shortfalls. If these games go catastrophically over budget - something which is commonplace with Olympics games - then Calgarians and only Calgarians could well be on the hook for these costs. This could mean crippling tax hikes for Calgary families and businesses.
This is a fully unacceptable risk for Calgarians and should be a deal-breaker for any Olympic bid.
They've stated that, working with experts, they've figured out a way to reduce the security costs associated with hosting these Olympics. Calgary 2026 had first pegged security costs at $600 million, which many experts and economists believed were low-balled to make the bid more palatable - Vancouver 2010's security cost was closer to $1 billion.
Now, Calgary 2026 has said that they can reduce those security costs.
There's just one problem - when it comes to security, the cost never goes down.
London's Olympic games had a security budget of £282 million (that's roughly $475 million in Canadian dollars). And then, 18 months out of the London games, the cost exploded to £553 million, which more than a staggering $900 million.
In other words, security costs doubled in between when the London organizing committee created its plan and when the Olympics actually took place.
Let's be clear about what's happening here - this is a rush job, last-ditch effort to try and save a shambolic bid that was created in secret and which ignores the concerns of Calgary taxpayers.
However, despite all of these concerns, City Council has decided to move forward with this plebiscite - which means we need your help.
We're going to be doing everything we can to convince Calgarians to get out and vote no on November 13th. Unlike our opponents who have unlimited amounts of big money from big businesses, special interests, and every taxpayer, we rely on the grassroots support of everyday Calgarians.
We're asking you to give a special contribution, today, so that we can pay for advertising and other measures to persuade Calgarians that these Olympics are the wrong choice for Calgary, and the motivate them to Get Out and Vote on November 13th.
We're hoping to raise $10,000 for advertising and engagement in the next week in order to make sure Calgarians get our message of why they need to vote against these Olympics. Calgary 2026 has said they plan to spend a million dollars, and while we can't match that spending, we need to raise enough in order to be able to push back in a meaningful way against their propaganda.
We promise to keep fighting hard to stand-up for fiscal responsibility and common sense at City Hall.
Save Calgary From The Olympics