April 4, 2018 11:56 am

Angela Kokott: Plebiscite is only way to prove fix isn’t in on 2026 Olympics

A uniform from the 1988 Olympic torch run is seen in Calgary on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009. Calgary has extra time to mull a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics because the International Olympic Committee has shifted its timelines.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
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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.

READ MORE: Here’s what Calgarians think about the costs of a 2026 Olympic bid: Ipsos poll

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?

READ MORE: IOC announces list of interested countries for 2026 Winter Games

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.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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