Pub­lic fig­ures must stand and BE counted

Calgary Herald - - LETTERS -

At what point does healthy de­bate cross the line to be­come de­lib­er­ate mis­in­for­ma­tion and neg­li­gence of duty?

It is one thing for cit­i­zens to be un­in­formed be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion; it is an­other for elected of­fi­cials and lead­ers to choose to be un­in­formed or ac­cept new in­for­ma­tion due to en­trenched bi­ases. Th­ese pub­lic fig­ures have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to rep­re­sent and in­form con­stituents to en­sure de­ci­sions are made that will ben­e­fit those con­stituents.

Mul­ti­ple stud­ies and analy­ses have been pub­lished since fund­ing fig­ures have been re­leased. Vir­tu­ally all con­clude there is an over­whelm­ing ben­e­fit to be gained. Cal­gary BidCo and Canada West Foun­da­tion have pub­lished their in­for­ma­tion in for­mats that are both very read­able by the pub­lic.

The fact that some lead­ers con­tinue to pro­mote false in­for­ma­tion is in­ap­pro­pri­ate. Coun­cil­lor Sean Chu tweeted out “if you don’t know, vote no.” An­other stated in a TV in­ter­view that “all they’ve got is nos­tal­gia from the ’88 games.” With all of the ob­jec­tive, care­fully an­a­lyzed and read­ily avail­able in­for­ma­tion she has ac­cess to, that is not only in­cor­rect but wil­fully ir­re­spon­si­ble.

The Olympics have huge po­ten­tial for eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fits now and for decades to come. This plebiscite is not a po­lit­i­cal elec­tion where per­sonal at­tacks and mis­in­for­ma­tion should be tol­er­ated or en­cour­aged.

We have no right to miss this op­por­tu­nity be­cause of cyn­i­cal peo­ple more fo­cused on ob­struct­ing progress with what if ’s than on rolling up their sleeves. Cal­gar­i­ans de­serve bet­ter.

It is time for our pub­lic fig­ures to be held ac­count­able and to have the courage and in­tegrity to stand up and sup­port Cal­gary 2026 and the essence of Cal­gary it­self.

Deb Thon, Cal­gary

What about the mo­ral is­sue of align­ing our­selves with the IOC, and fur­ther en­rich­ing that or­ga­ni­za­tion? Pay­offs, vote-buy­ing, bribery, Salt Lake City, con­struc­tion con­tract ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, Black Tid­ings, Rus­sia’s WADA re­in­state­ment, etc. Al­lan Maslen

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