Here comes the Calgary Olympic bid plebiscite.
The Calgarians I am acquainted with are divided. Some welcome lots of jobs. Some fear decades of debt. Some wonder how they can afford to commit so much when they are so short of money and Calgary could win an Olympic trophy for the number of empty office buildings.
The Olympic elephant in the room is the cost overruns that have plagued so many Olympics.
Calgary will try to insure itself against cost overruns, but look what happened in Rio de Janeiro, where the $3-billion project got a $13-billion bill. The government had to take money from health care and police budgets. Russia went from the estimated $12 billion to $50 billion.
What is the solution?
I think there should be a new pre-Olympic sport called OTOB. O-T-O-B. It means On Time, On Budget.
Publish regular period scores on each part of the project. Hold each trades or other team leaders to account. Keep their colours and their captain in the public eye as they stumble on price or time or head for the home stretch.
And, start the actual games by awarding medals to those who keep their promises.
Is my idea too far over the top? Or am I just in good company with those who think they can afford the Olympics?
I guess we’ll see when the Calgary Olympic bid plebiscite happens Nov. 13.
Let me know what you think.
Bob Layton is the news manager of the Corus Edmonton group of radio stations.
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