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Disconnect between B.C. and BidCo organizers on Calgary Olympics

The ski jump at WinSport taken on Oct. 22, 2018. Credit - CityNews reporter Kristen Fong
Summary

B.C.s Tourism Minister says no one from Calgary 2026 has formally engaged with them about their use of Whistler

Calgary 2026 says they've been engaging with the B.C. government for three or four months as well as local officials

According to the draft plan, holding events at Whistler could save organizers $50-million

CALGARY (660NEWS) – There appears to be a bit of a disconnect between organizers of a potential Calgary 2026 Olympic bid and the British Columbia government; either a minister has been left out of the loop, or someone in Calgary dropped the ball.

According to the draft plan, BidCo had been hoping to use Whistler for the ski jump and combined nordic events in its game proposal.

By moving the events to Whistler, it would mean a $50-million cost savings to the bottom line because their facilities are still in good shape.

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B.C.’s Minister of Tourism Lisa Beare says they have not been involved in the drafting of the bid and to date have not been formally approached by the the bid organizers.

In a statement, she writes: “If we are formally approached, we will look forward to learning more about this proposal – especially how it might benefit British Columbians. We would also need to carefully consider any potential costs, or risks to the province.”

It’s a charge that Calgary 2026 organizers dispute.

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“We have been engaged with the B.C. government (Ministry of Finance). This has been occurring for the last three, or four months. We have shared with them a draft project overview. Consultations with the mayor and the Town of Whistler have been ongoing for a year.”

Whistler officials have also issued a statement to Rogers Media.

“Whistler Sport Legacies, the manager of Whistler Olympic Park and the Whistler Athletes’ Centre, has been in ongoing dialogue with those leading the Calgary 2026 Olympic bid. The Resort Municipality of Whistler has been briefed on the proposal and are waiting to see the outcome of the plebiscite in Calgary planned for Nov. 13, 2018. If there is a positive result, we would look forward to a presentation later in the year to council and the community.”

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It didn’t take long for opponents of the bid around Calgary council to chastize the breakdown in communications.

“Are you seriously telling me that we didn’t ask British Columbia if we could use Whistler for #Calgary2026,” tweeted Councillor Jeromy Farkas.

Calgary will go ahead with the plebiscite on Nov. 13, 2018.