Olympic bid has become ‘destructive and polarizing’ for Calgary: city councillor

A city councillor is decrying the “destructive and polarizing” influence Calgary’s Olympic bid is having on the city.

Coun. Jyoti Gondek called a press conference Friday to clarify her position on a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Games four days ahead of the Olympic plebiscite on Nov. 13.

The first-term councillor bluntly rebutted arguments advanced by the mayor and some councillors that the proposed funding agreement for the Olympics would be a good deal for Calgary.

“We have cobbled together a proposal that offers a frugal olympics at the expense of the vision with which we began,” Gondek said. “The proposed offer that’s before us is not the best that we can do.”

Gondek criticized last-minute revisions to the host plan to remove some 1,000 affordable housing units; she also slammed the decision to cancel plans to relocate of the Victoria Park bus barns — a move viewed as a key precursor for redevelopment in the blighted neighbourhood.

But Gondek said one of the most frustrating parts has been the “divisiveness” that has crept into public discussions of the bid.

“This bid is not a unifying vision anymore. It’s an incredibly destructive and polarizing force. We can’t keep prolonging this terrible feeling, this awful sense that we’re attacking each other,” she said.

More to come … 


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