Calgary city council chooses to delay decision on Olympic bid plebiscite to April

WATCH: Calgarians won't find out until April whether they will have a say in a possible Calgary Olympic bid. Jill Croteau explains.

Despite the mayor saying earlier in the week that timelines were tight to get a plebiscite done, a decision on whether to take the question of an Olympics bid to a public vote won’t happen until April.

Calgary city council voted 10-3 on Wednesday morning to refer a motion by Coun. Sean Chu to the April 10 meeting of the Priorities and Finance Committee.

“Last night, we did ask for a community engagement plan,” said Coun. George Chahal, who moved to refer the vote. “I think it’s important that we discuss this plebiscite through a robust engagement plan.”

WATCH BELOW: Olympic bid confusion a hot topic at Calgary City Council on Monday

Olympic bid confusion a hot topic at Calgary City Council on Monday
Olympic bid confusion a hot topic at Calgary City Council on Monday

READ MORE: Calgary city council votes to continue 2026 Winter Olympics bid process

On Tuesday, council voted in favour of allowing administration to move ahead on two fronts if – and only if – financial support for a bid comes from the provincial and federal governments.

Story continues below advertisement

The plan would include establishing a bid corporation (bidco) to continue the work of preparing the information needed to inform a bid decision, and to come back to council with a plan to consult Calgarians on how they feel about a potential bid.

Chu’s motion would direct council to ask the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for a six-month bid deadline extension, conduct a “vote of the electors,” and postpone any decision on whether to bid until after the vote.

“We need to have a very informed conversation and we don’t have all the information we need to have to have an informed conversation,” said Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra.

READ MORE: Olympics file has Calgary council at a crossroads on plebiscite

Coun. Ward Sutherland pressed Chu for a number of details on the plebiscite he envisions: asking his colleague who would be allowed to vote, what would be the threshold for a successful vote, and what level of voter turnout would be considered an accurate representation of the public’s opinion.

“Just like an election – 30 per cent of the people voted, so be it. 10 per cent of the people voted, so be it,” Chu said. “People have the chance to do it. [If] they don’t want to take part, well I’m sorry. And that’s just the way it is.”

Councillors Chu, Jeromy Farkas and Joe Magliocca voted against the delay.

Global News Redesign Global News Redesign
A fresh new look for Global News is here, tell us what you think
Take a Survey

Sponsored Stories