We Calgarians, at our very core, are entrepreneurs, builders, leaders, and innovators. In dark times, we help each other and dig deep to overcome anything. At the worst of times, our ambition, determination and proactiveness persevere.

So when did we lose our soul as a community? When did our heart as a city stop beating? Everywhere I go in Calgary today, I hear a tremendous amount of negativity, cynicism and indifference. So, I am sounding the alarm bell — it is time to wake up Calgary! Amidst the recent political confusion around Calgary’s Olympic and Paralympic bid, we run the risk of losing an opportunity to rebuild and redefine our city and ourselves.

Many of you are concerned about the economics of the games. I share your concerns and there is no question that the economic case has been poorly communicated. But funding has been secured and now federal, provincial, and municipal finances will leverage contributions from the International Olympic Committee. This funding will help support and create over 15,400 jobs (full-time equivalents), generate about $1 billion of additional labour income, and an estimated 25,000 volunteer opportunities. If you still have concerns about budget overruns, bear in mind that Calgary 2026 will be the first Games utilizing Agenda 2020, a new set of guidelines released by the IOC to utilize already-existing facilities rather than building brand new ones. Because of the legacy infrastructure from the 1988 Olympics, Calgary already has 87 per cent of the facilities required to host the Games. We Calgarians invented the term “on time and on budget.”

But this is about more than just the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Games create a beacon for Calgary and will help reignite the soul of our city. Perhaps these benefits are less tangible and quantifiable than the economic case — but …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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