Calgary council should vote to halt Olympic process this week, argues anti-bid group

A group opposed to Calgary hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic Games said it hopes city council will vote to quash the bid when the draft plan is discussed on Tuesday.

“It’s a bad deal for Calgary,” said Erin Waite, communications lead for No Calgary Olympics.

On Thursday, the pro-Olympics group Yes Calgary 2026 released its own cost estimate of $5.8 billion for the games. The group said it believes $2.5 billion in revenue is possible, which would make the net cost $3.3 billion.

Waite said in her mind, those unofficial numbers only raise more questions.

“It is appropriate for our city council to take the off ramp when they have that opportunity,” said Waite.

Waite said her frustrations don’t lie with city council, but rather the International Olympic Committee, whose competitive bid structure she feels forces cities to compete for something that may not even be to their benefit.

“I’m frustrated with the structure of an IOC bid process that we are in this position to be absolutely panicked and to be concerned that we’re not even going to have cost information and understand what a bid looks like before having to vote on it,” she said. 

A council vote to halt the project would mean there would no longer be a need for a non-binding plebiscite — currently planned for Nov. 13 — which would ask Calgarians if they want the bid to go ahead.

In advance of Tuesday’s meeting, Yes Calgary 2026 held a trio of events at community centres around the city to try and drum up support.

Christina Smith competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics in bobsled. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Bobsledder Christina Smith competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics and said singing in the choir during the 1988 Olympics was what lit her spark to compete.

“Because of that moment, it ignited such a drive to become an Olympian,” she said

Smith said the cost, while big, could bring Calgary sports facility upgrades and a much-needed new fieldhouse.

“Sign the dotted line, we get IOC money that will help us with many other upgrades,” she said.

With files from Terri Trembath



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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.

History

Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
Geography

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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