Late on Thursday, March 29, just hours before most people were checking out for the Easter long weekend, a short press release from the City of Calgary notified media that the provincial and federal governments were kicking in a combined $20.5 million to create an Olympic Bid Corporation (BidCo). It will be charged with pursuing the bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
The timing was questionable.
Many councillors were caught off guard. In no time at all, there were suggestions that this was another sign the “fix” was already in on moving forward with the highly contentious games.
The one saving grace was that the province attached some strings to its contribution: no plebiscite; no money.
WATCH BELOW: Should Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid be decided by plebiscite?
The province has ultimately forced the hand of councillors who have argued against going to the people to get their opinion.
Now, there have to be assurances that a plebiscite is the deciding factor in whether Calgary puts in a bid for the Games and isn’t just used as a piece of information in the final decision.