City paying for MLAs to attend 2018 Olympic Games as Calgary 2026 bid exploration continues
The City of Calgary is paying for two MLAs to attend the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics in South Korea alongside three city staff, and potentially Mayor Naheed Nenshi, as part of efforts to evaluate a potential 2026 Olympic bid.
While Premier Rachel Notley dubbed the trip a fact-finding mission and said the province has made no decisions about supporting a Calgary bid, Nenshi said having provincial representation at the upcoming Winter Games is good news for Calgary’s repeat Olympic dreams.
Notley confirmed Thursday afternoon deputy premier Sarah Hoffman and Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda accepted an invitation from the City of Calgary to attend the opening ceremonies in South Korea.
“I would imagine that that’s a pretty strong signal that if they want to observe, then they’re willing to fund their costs of the bid committee,” said Nenshi, who hopes to also attend the sporting event in February.
In November, council voted 9-4 in favour of spending an additional $1 million — on top of the $5 million already dedicated — to continue exploring a Calgary bid for the 2026 Winter Games.
Council agreed to spend another $1 million on the exploration efforts next year, if the federal and provincial governments agree to help cover the cost of a bid, which is estimated to be around $30 million.
“We’ve made no decision on that. We’re still in the fact-finding and the research stage right now,” Notley told reporters in Edmonton Thursday.
An end of January deadline has been set by council for the province and Ottawa to come on board and participate in a bid committee — just days before the Feb. 9 to 25 Winter Games in South Korea.
Hoffman also told reporters no decisions have been made regarding supporting a Calgary bid.
“I look forward to … having an opportunity to be part of the Canadian delegation and to spend some time with the folks from Calgary and see where that takes us,” she said.
Nenshi, a longtime Olympic fan who paid his own way to the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, said he’s hopeful he will be able to attend the 2018 Games, though this time around he would be working, not vacationing.
Categorised in: Canadian News