Turnout for advance vote on Olympic bid tops Calgarys 2013 election

Turnout for advance vote on Olympic bid tops Calgary\s 2013 election
Yes vote in plebiscite doesnt guarantee Olympic bid, says Nenshi
More than twice the number of Calgarians cast advance votes in the Olympic plebiscite than in the 2013 municipal election.

Advance polls for the Nov. 13 Olympic vote closed Wednesday at 8 p.m., and new numbers from the city show early voting eclipsed numbers from the 2013 election but were still behind advance ballots cast in the 2017 vote.

A 10-per-cent premium is expensive. I think the value in the policy, as the city sees it, is managing the uncertainty. They can budget the upfront premium cost better than the uncertain cost down the road. The reality is when youre talking about this size of project and this type of time frame, its unlikely youll get the costs right, she said.

Advance polls for the Olympic plebiscite were only open Tuesday and Wednesday, but the city’s numbers show a total of 54,442 people cast votes on whether to pursue a bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

Why would we go down this route if the exclusions are basically the areas that the majority of overruns come from? If scope changes arent included, change orders arent included, overruns by contractors arent included, what is included then? he asked the citys bid corporation.

But advance voting numbers for the Olympic vote were still well below totals in the 2017 Calgary municipal election, with 74,965 Calgarians casting early ballots, the city said.

Without the backing of a senior level of government, Calgarys bid commits the city to paying for an insurance plan to cover $200-million in unforeseen costs. The insurance comes along with a nearly $1-billion cushion built into the bids cost to cover potential overruns.

A total of 18 advance vote locations were set up across Calgary for the plebiscite, while the city had 26 locations for the 2017 municipal election.

“[It] really is 50 per cent plus one, that is how it plays out, that is what the feds and provincial governments have suggested they are looking at, but I would like to see a strong mandate either way, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

The non-binding Olympic vote asks Calgarians whether they are for or against Calgary hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Earlier this week, the city unveiled electronic tabulator machines to tally the plebiscite results.

“But like every election campaign, it’s critical that people vote.  Certainly, the polls I have seen are very tight.  It all depends on who comes out to vote,” he said.

An Olympic Plebiscite Primer

But some early voters reported problems with the machines, noting that ballots were being rejected, which kept lineups of people waiting to cast their votes.

Typical host city contracts between the International Olympic Committee and the cities awarded Olympic Games include a clause that states “the responsibility for all aspects of security in relation to the Games (including the financial, planning and operational aspects thereof) lies with Host Country Authorities, which shall take all necessary measures in order to guarantee the safe and peaceful celebration of the Games.”

Calgarians dont want to host Olympics, according to poll

Those who will be away from Calgary on plebiscite day, as well as those who will be prevented from voting in person due to a physical incapacity, can request a mail-in ballot online, by calling 403-476-4100, by faxing 403-476-4101, or by visiting the Elections and Census Office at 1103 55th Ave. N.E.

“We will get a guarantee. It’s been approved to be signed by the minister of public safety,” she said. “It says we require a guarantee from the relevant authority that guarantees a safe and peaceful celebration . . . So we’ve been assured that the minister of public safety will sign that guarantee, and that will encompass how they would deal with the financial arrangements as well.”

Requests for mail-in ballots must be received by noon on Nov. 13. Completed mail-in ballot packages must be received by the Elections and Census Office by 4 p.m. that day.

The contracts also state that the host city, along with each country’s National Olympic Committee and organizing committee, are responsible to help ensure security and “shall take further measures (such as the deployment of relevant authorities responsible for safety, security, law enforcement and private security contractors) to complement those implemented by Host Country Authorities.”

Voters must provide authorized identification at the voting station, such as an Alberta driver’s licence or an Alberta Identification Card that confirms their name and current residential address.

“And today,” says Linda, “my dad would be saying exactly that: ‘You just have to go for it. And do it even better.’ He would never want us to accept anything less. It requires courage, resilience, innovation and thoughtful execution. He would never want Calgarians to stand down to those who are intent on negativity. They are not the ones who will lead this city through a recession, now or ever. Go for it, and do as much good as you can, he’d say, and that’s exactly the way he left this world.”

For more information on where to vote and what identification you will need to cast a ballot, visit vote2018.calgary.ca.

He’s right. While Calgary will pitch in only $390 million over eight years, it will receive $4.4 billion in funding from outside sources, including at least $1.1 billion from the International Olympic Committee, $1.435 billion from the federal government, which is specially earmarked for a large multi-sport event, and $700 million from the provincial government.

Strong turnout on second day of advanced voting in Olympic plebiscite

Calgary council will not pursue the Olympics at any cost even if a plebiscite shows public support for the Games, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said on Wednesday. 

I hoped we could emulate Calgary, make Canada proud and inspire deep love of country and uncommon patriotism, wrote Furlong. During our first meeting, and countless questions, after a brief pause, he looked over at me and said, Dont try to emulate Calgary. Be better than us, take this as far as you can and do as much good as you can.

Calgary Olympic bid could end even if city votes in favour of hosting, says Mayor

"At some point after the plebiscite, and I don't know exactly when, council will then vote on whether to continue or suspend. So if there's a no vote, I imagine that council will vote to stop the work. If there's a yes vote, that doesn't necessarily mean yes at all costs," he said.  

“We know how to build stuff, we know how to do that,” Woolley said of any possible capital project overruns. “But we have no guarantees on the operations side — it’s the operations side that we have no clarity or commitment on.”

"It allows the work to continue but council still reserves the right, if there's not a good deal there or it doesn't work for the City of Calgary, to pull out of the process."

“So never mind that security is the big cost, and the big one that Calgarians worry about the most . . . in terms of overruns, but there’s all sorts of other guarantees around ticket sales, all of those other things that we haven’t put in place.

He said the metric for a decision will be 50 per cent plus one, but that he would prefer a stronger mandate in either direction. 

And while the majority of council followed Woolley’s advice to scrap the bid with a vote of eight to seven, two-thirds of council — or 10 ‘yes’ votes — were required to reverse a previous off-ramp vote in September.

Not sure which way to vote in the Olympic plebiscite? Watch CBC Calgarys town hall

The non-binding plebiscite is on Nov. 13, but advance voting started Tuesday and continued on Wednesday. 

Coun. Woolley stays on as Olympic chair, but thinks deal is half-baked

There were long lines at some polling stations on Tuesday. According to the city, 28,923 Calgarians cast a ballot in person and another 7,738 voted through mail-in ballots. 

I dont think Ill ever get over this in my career as a councillor. Sometimes I even want to take a shower because Im ashamed. Im ashamed of some things that were said on this council. Im ashamed of some things that are said in the paper, and Im going to point one out because I just cant let it go, and its a fact. And Im going to read it, because it was in the paper. So of course its true if its written in the paper, right? Thank you. So:

Scaled back Calgary 2026 Olympics security plan predicted to go over budget

On Wednesday, another 84 mail-in ballots were received and 25,435 voted in person, bringing the total number of advance ballots cast to 54,442.

JEREMY: Youre listening to Sprawlcast. My name is Jeremy Klaszus and Im the founder and editor of The Sprawl, and Sprawlcast is a collaboration between The Sprawl and CJSW 90.9 FM. We are broadcasting from Calgary on Treaty 7 land. Sprawlcast is a show for Calgarians who want more than the daily news grind, and today were going to go deep on a topic you might have heard something about: Calgarys Olympic bid.

Have your say: Should Calgary host the 2026 Olympics?

Nenshi said he's "super happy" with the high turnout, pointing to low turnout as the worst possible outcome for the plebiscite. 

Canmore supports Olympics – Canada News

Asked about a CBC Calgary poll that shows a majority don't support a bid, the mayor remained optimistic. 

"I am approaching this poll cautiously," said Janet Brown, who conducted the poll. "Every poll is a snapshot in time and this is probably an especially blurry snapshot given how much uncertainty was happening while this poll was being administered."

"It's a great pollster, Janet Brown; it's a very small sample size, just 200 people in Calgary," he said, although the actual number was 243. 

The poll suggests things have started to improve for the Yes side, however, since a funding agreement was negotiated and presented to the public on Oct. 30. Support has climbed from a low of 26 per cent prior to the announcement to 39 per cent after. 

"There's lots of polling going on and I've certainly seen polls that are much, much closer."

When asked who would be responsible for any cost overruns tied to the Games, the mayor said the city is working out details on the bid and the proposed funding agreement with other levels of government. 

“From a psycho-social perspective, the ability to show that persons with disabilities performing on the highest level could raise the understanding of what people with disabilities are capable of, which could translate into improved hiring practices or improved social inclusion,” he said.

LIVE EVENT: CBC Calgary Olympic Games Plebiscite Town HallIf you live in Calgary, find out what you need to know before you cast your vote in the Nov. 13 plebiscite by tuning in to the CBC Calgary Olympic Games Plebiscite Town Hall.

If Calgary votes no in the 2026 Olympic plebiscite, whats next?

Featuring a knowledgeable panel and hosted by the Calgary Eyeopener's David Gray, we will hear from both sides and take questions from the audience. Panellists include:

It'll take place at Calgary's new Central Library (800 3rd St. S.E.) on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Doors open at 6 p.m., with rush seating available at 6:15 p.m. All of the reserved tickets have been claimed.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.