Environmental pains, civic pride gains for Calgary outlined in Olympic cost-benefit analysis

Environmental pains, civic pride gains for Calgary outlined in Olympic cost-benefit analysis
Air Canada, WestJet step up for Calgarys 2026 Olympic bid
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.

Over 54,000 cast ballots in Calgary Olympic bid plebiscite advance poll

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.

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.

“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.

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.

The average Olympic budget overrun since 1960 is about 200 per cent and the trend has continued. The estimated costs for the 2018 Olympics are $13 billion versus the budget of $7 billion. The 2014 Sochi Games, the most expensive in history of the event, exceeded the $12 billion budget by $39 billion. The fact that BidCo could, at the 11th hour, find savings of $185 million in their budget for 2026 should reinforce the perception that the proposed budget is a farce. Canmore town council found $200,000 unbudgeted dollars to spend on deciding whether to participate in Calgarys bid, and sent four people to the Korean Olympics to observe and learn. They should have learned that Olympic budgets have become meaningless.

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

“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.”

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.

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.

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.

Calgary voters came out in droves for Olympic advance poll

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

TORONTO — Canadas two biggest airlines are throwing their support behind Calgarys bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

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Air Canada has a long association with Canadas Olympic and Paralympic athletes and particularly at home Games, starting with being the Official Airline at Calgarys highly successful 1988 Olympic Winter Games. We are tremendously proud to fly the flag as we fully support the citys bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. On behalf of our 30,000 worldwide employees, and especially our team of 1,900 employees who live and work in Calgary, we wish Calgarians the very best in their pursuit of these Games, said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive of Air Canada.

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.

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

To further demonstrate Air Canadas support, one of the airlines senior executives, Renee Smith-Valade, who has direct experience from eight previous Olympic Games – including both the Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010 Games – has been temporarily seconded to work with the Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation through the plebiscite and initial preparation of the international bid phase. Air Canada is also assisting in transporting athletes for special events related to Calgarys bid.

Air Canadas involvement in the Olympic movement include serving as official airline for the two previous home Games (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games); official transportation provider for Canadian Olympic teams at Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014, Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018, and Tokyo 2020.

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.

Calgary 2026: Nothing ventured, nothing gained, the benefits of hosting the Olympic Games outweigh potential risks

Air Canada was also a supporter of the successful bids and organizing committees for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games, the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games, the Victoria 1994 Commonwealth Games and the Winnipeg 1999 Pan Am Games.

The group publicized the number of Calgarians who completed either a mail-in special ballot prior to the vote or made their way to one of the 18 advance voting stations scattered throughout Calgary on November 6, the first day of voting.

Olympic debate heats up as final decision draws near

Air Canada also sponsored bids for the Quebec City 2002 Olympic Winter Games and the Toronto 2008 Olympic Games.

The final turnout for 2017 was a sizeable 74,965, while 2013 saw only 22,410 Calgarians take advantage of the seven days of advance voting — a number that has already been surpassed by the plebiscite’s total after day 1.

Since 1996, WestJet has been proud to call Calgary home and were thrilled to announce our support for Calgarys bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, says Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. The opportunity hosting the Games would provide in terms of economic growth and tourism is substantial for Calgary, Alberta and our country. Were looking forward to showcasing our city and connecting the world to Calgary through our expanding global network in 2026.

WestJet is Calgarys largest airline, and by June 2019, will offer flights to 65 non-stop destinations with an average of 1,100 flights per week from YYC. Last month, WestJet announced its launching its first three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner international destinations from Calgary in 2019 including; London (Gatwick), Paris and Dublin.

ABOUT CALGARY 2026 The mandate of Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation is to support and promote the development of sport and amateur athletics in Canada through the development and promotion of a bid to hold the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in the City of Calgary, the Town of Canmore and surrounding and other areas as needed to host the Games and, in particular, to develop, co-ordinate and present to the International Olympic Committee a bid to have the City of Calgary named as the host city to stage the Games.

An Olympic Plebiscite Primer

WestJets Dreamliners carry 320 guests in a three-class cabin configuration including the airlines newly revealed Business cabin featuring 16 private pods with lie-flat seats, an upscale Premium cabin and an updated Economy cabin.

WHO:Fergal Duff – Calgary 2026 Director, Venues, Villages and Capital InfrastructureDavid Legg – Ph. D. Chair and Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal UniversityMark Arendz – Eight-time Paralympic medallist, 2018 flag bearer PyeongChang closing ceremoniesDavid Pierce – Emmy award-winning composer, producer and orchestrator

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CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation (BidCo) will unveil images tomorrow of how key updated venues and new ones would look for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Building two new venues and modernizing existing facilities will extend their life and increase accessibility.