Dozens turned out on Tuesday to the first of six open houses being held to discuss Calgary’s potential 2026 Olympic bid.
Among the poster boards at the Dalhousie Community Association, people looked for more information about benefits, cost sharing and infrastructure upgrades that come with a potential bid.
“People are craving more information on either side,” said Ward 4 Coun. Sean Chu.
He said people have told him there is still not enough financial information to be able to make a decision. They’re confused, Chu added.
“I get hundreds, if not thousands, of emails saying, ‘We don’t want it,’ ” he said.
Open house attendee Jim Bailey is a “definite no” but wants to see specific numbers, costs and benefits. His concern lies in security measures, ballooning infrastructure costs and the impact on the economy.
“Three levels of government are all in debt; that’s a problem,” he said.
Area residents Carol and Don Hawkes said it’s important for people to be in the loop with such a major decision. Both think the city is not in the right position to bid, having just recovered from a recession.
“There’s a lot of questions that haven’t been answered — and we really need them answered,” Don said. “I don’t think we’ve got a lot of time left.”
The Olympic bid corporation asked for $3 billion in public investment as part of the $5.2 billion price tag. The Alberta government has committed $700 million if Calgary gets the bid and the federal government says it won’t provide more than $1.5 billion.
The plebiscite is scheduled for Nov. 13.