Olympic plebiscite: Calgary votes against an Olympic bid
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
On Nov. 13 Calgarians came out in large numbers to vote in the Olympic plebiscite that saw a higher voter turnout than the last civic election.
Unofficially, 56 per cent of Calgarians voted against further exploration of an Olympic bid, with 44 per cent of voters hoping to continue pursuing an Olympic bid.
The question of whether an Olympic Games was the right way to go about investing in infrastructure and the economy, caused city-wide debate.
On Oct. 31, city council almost voted to suspend the bid. The last-minute decision came about after worries of minimal funding from both the federal and provincial governments.
While the majority of city council voted in favour (8-7) of suspending the bid ahead of the plebiscite, the vote needed a supermajority of 10 votes. Mayor Naheed Nenshi after this meeting said that he felt confident that this was a good deal for Calgarians and that he would be voting “yes” in the plebiscite on Nov. 13.
But, a majority Calgarians voted against an Olympic bid as the exploration will finally be suspended.
Nenshi wrote on Facebook, “While I’m disappointed with tonight’s result, Calgarians have spoken very clearly and the voters are never wrong.”
“The passion on both sides comes from people who care about this place. Our job tomorrow is to figure out how to continue this conversation,” says Nenshi.
The day after the plebiscite, the city announced their new four-year budget. Global News reported that the operating cost budget will be $4.09 billion.
According to CBC, “The province spent $2 million hosting the plebiscite. $10 million was spent on bid preparations out of a $30 million pool from the municipal, provincial and federal governments.”