Calgary mulls public hearings, plebiscite question for 2026 Winter Games bid

Calgary mulls public hearings, plebiscite question for 2026 Winter Games bid

Calgary is wrestling with how to get public input, and what question to ask in a plebiscite, as timelines tighten on bidding for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A plebiscite, which was a condition of the provincial government contributing money to a bid, will likely be held in November.

A council committee overseeing a bid was told by city administration Tuesday a plebiscite can’t happen sooner, or later, than that.

The deadline for cities to submit 2026 bid books to the International Olympic Committee is January.

The question that will be put to Calgarians is under construction. Mayor Naheed Nenshi would like financial parameters to be included in the question.

“It has to be a very simple question,” the mayor said. “Are you in favour of Calgary bidding on the Olympics or not, but it also has to be informed by how much is that going to cost.

“Do you support us spending this kind of money on it?”

But who is paying for what is a key question still be to fully answered. And there’s a time crunch, as the Calgary bid must have a complete financial breakdown for Calgarians to digest before they go to the voting booths.

Committee chair Coun. Evan Woolley said the plebiscite ”will be the ultimate arbiter of whether we push the send button on this bid.”

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