Starting a new life in Calgary six years ago hasn’t been cheap for Alejandra Mejia.
Soon she and other Calgarians may be asked, via a city plebiscite, whether their money should be spent to help bring the 2026 Winter Olympic Games to Calgary.
“As a taxpayer I’m also concerned because I know it will be absorbed by all of us,” Mejia said.
“I think it’s a matter of explaining to the people the cost versus the benefit.”
Calgary will have one less contender in the running to be host in the 2026. Lillehammer, Norway has pulled out of the Olympic bidding process.
“I think they’ve concluded there’s not a good business case,” said Colin Craig, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“I think the Olympics need to re-think their model because it just costs host cities way too much money.”
Norway doesn’t have the financing in place, but neither does Calgary.
Funding from the province now depends on a plebiscite.
“We think it’s a good thing the provincial government seems to be requiring a plebiscite before putting forward a bid,” Craig said. “We’re talking about billions of taxpayers’ money, so taxpayers deserve the right to say what they think about this.”
Cities have until Saturday to submit interest to the International Olympic Committee.
The list of interested cities will be revealed on Tuesday.