CALGARY (CITYNEWS and 660 NEWS) – The ‘no’ side won Tuesday’s non-binding plebiscite vote with 56 per cent, which means they are one step closer to getting what they have campaigned for.
“We are pleased that Calgarians recognize that hosting the Olympics is one path, but not the only path towards building on all of our community’s strengths and opportunity,” said NoCalgaryOlympics in a statement. “We are optimistic about Calgary and Calgarians, confident that our city will be successful with every endeavor, large and small.”
The No Calgary Olympics team has been volunteer-run, lead by Erin Waite and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s Franco Terrazzano with support from councillors Jeromy Farkas, Sean Chu, and Joe Magliocca.
The ‘no’ side has maintained the money simply isn’t there, with all levels of government tightening purse strings.
Thank you every Calgarian who voted today! #yyc has spoken loud and clear with 56.4% saying NO to the 2026 Olympics. This has been a 2 year campaign. Thank you to @noyycolympics for their tireless efforts! Tomorrow we move forward! #yyccc #ableg pic.twitter.com/L7PU0sITwc
— Sean Chu (@seanchucalgary) November 14, 2018
Those against the bid say there are other projects more deserving of funding, of which there is little, and that the Olympics is not a reliable way to diversify Calgary’s energy-based economy. Waite has said she believes there are better partners for the city to work with than the International Olympic Committee.
However, even though Calgarians voted no, the city could still move forward with a bid and compete against Stockholm, Sweden and a joint bid from Milan and Cortina, Italy.
Does the Olympic rejection make Calgary a “No” city?
Here’s my not-simple answer to that! https://t.co/jusbrSVQKz
— Jason Markusoff (@markusoff) November 14, 2018
Now that the plebiscite is complete, the next step is the returning officer — at the regular meeting of council on Monday — will provide council with a report on the official results, and council will determine the next steps.
“We saw a clear number, we saw a big voter turnout and for me that means that I ultimately take my direction from the citizens,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who voted ‘yes’ to hosting the Olympics. “So on Monday at city council we will have a little debate, which I anticipate will end in a vote to suspend this.”
The final decision is in council’s hands, if they decide to proceed, this bid will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee in January of next year.