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Calgary mayor asks integrity commissioner to investigate Olympic bid costs leak

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Calgary mayor asks integrity commissioner to investigate Olympic bid costs leak
WATCH: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi expressed frustration Monday after details of a closed-door Olympic bid meeting were leaked to the media. Lisa MacGregor reports – Sep 24, 2018

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told a council meeting Monday that he’s going to ask the integrity commissioner for an investigation into a media leak that details areas where there may be additional costs to the city because of the Olympics.

“I will be asking the integrity commissioner to use his full authority to conduct that full investigation which includes a forensic audit of your devices, personal and city owned, as well as of email and of text messages.”

For years, the city has talked about moving the bus barns out of Victoria Park, but that may be fast-tracked because that’s the proposed location for the athletes’ village.

READ MORE: Canmore town council looks at joining Calgary’s 2026 Olympic bid

Nenshi said those bus barns are just one proposed location for the athlete’s village.

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“You may have noticed that Calgary 2026 had recommended a number of different options for where the athlete’s village would be. And this document said that if this particular option is the chosen one, on the bus barns, we think there may be… additional costs for remediation. That’s straight-up diligence work.

READ MORE: City of Calgary to hire 3,000 employees for Olympic plebiscite

“At that point, council would say, ‘Well do we choose to go somewhere else then because there’s lots of other options, or do we choose to spend money on this one?’ And that’s a discussion frankly, that council would have after we won the bid.”

City council has had a look at a lot of that information where costs may be incurred, but it hasn’t been made public.

Nenshi said the challenge with information leaked without context appears as if council is hiding something, as opposed to being a part of a greater conversation.

READ MORE: Italy out of 2026 Olympic bid race, Calgary and 2 others left in the running

The mayor said he’d like the investigation to include a forensic audit of each councillor’s business and personal devices.

He is stopping short, however, of asking the provincial government to come in and investigate.

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Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart said she agrees with the mayor and said “it should send a chilling effect through the chamber.”

Colley-Urquhart, however, believes the provincial government’s municipal affairs department should conduct the investigation.

“An oath has to be taken and statements are taken in a formal way, and I don’t think that the integrity commissioner has that level of authority.”

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