Global News asked our Calgary viewers and readers to tell us which issues matter most ahead of the municipal election on Oct. 16.
A 2026 Calgary Olympic bid was among the top concerns.
We asked all 10 mayoral candidates to answer your questions below, keeping answers to six sentences per issue. Their answers are reprinted here, edited only to meet our Global News editorial standards.
FULL COVERAGE: 2017 Calgary municipal election
Do you support a 2026 Calgary Olympic Games? Why or why not?
Answer from Jason (Jason GoGo) Achtymichuk:
“Yes, but only if we can utilize many existing facilities and upgrade them to current world-class standards, without having to rebuild. An example of a financial success was the 1984 Summer Olympics that used existing tracks, stadiums and facilities. This is the only way to make the numbers work for our city. A $4-billion investment for a new build with a $2-billion return does not make economic sense.”
Answer from Andre Chabot:
“Hosting the Olympics would be a tremendous opportunity for the city; however, we just do not have the ability to afford hosting at this time. With so many Calgarians out of work and businesses struggling, the financial requirements would outweigh the potential benefits.”
Answer from Brent Chisholm:
No response by publication time.
Answer from Emile Gabriel:
“I love sports and practice at least seven. I lived the 1988 Olympics and met with many athletes while I was doing my research at University of Calgary, where many of those athletes were living or practising at the university. I’ll support if we can afford it, providing that all the intelligent analysis and supporting facts prove favourable.”
Answer from Larry Heather:
Answer from David Lapp:
“Calgarians care about the economy and jobs. The bread-and-circuses diversion of the Olympics are not really top-of-mind for regular folk. They’re just trying to feed their kids and avoid being laid off. We’ve already hosted the Olympics, and don’t need to expend billions in order to host again what will almost certainly be a major debt creator. The Olympics are a major bet that we can’t afford to make – and they won’t pay off. This is a distraction and a risk that we can’t afford to take in these dire economic times.”
Answer from Naheed Nenshi:
Hosting the Olympics in 1988 was undeniably good for Calgary. The two enduring legacies from 1988 are the top-tier sports facilities still in use today (because of the surplus generated on the operations of the Games) and Calgarians discovering their incredible spirit of volunteerism, which continues to build stronger communities to this day.
Answer from Curtis Olson:
“I do not support a 2026 Olympic Games bid due to the economic downturn that the city is experiencing and the struggles that Calgarians are facing in terms of unemployment and rising living costs. A comprehensive cost/benefit analysis has not been conducted by the Calgary Olympic Bid Exploration Committee and it would be financially irresponsible to proceed based on estimates and predictions.”
Answer from Bill Smith:
Answer from Stan (the Man) Waciak:
“I believe our city should get its s*** together before we consider the Olympics.”