Can­more gives con­di­tional go-ahead to Olympic bid process

Moun­tain town’s in­ter­est in Olympic bid cen­tres on plans for more af­ford­able hous­ing

StarMetro Calgary - - FRONT PAGE - MADE­LINE SMITH

The small moun­tain town that could play an out­sized role in Cal­gary’s 2026 Win­ter Olympics bid has of­fi­cially given its sup­port.

In a vote Tues­day night, Can­more town coun­cil ex­pressed nearly unan­i­mous sup­port for the bid.

In Cal­gary, the amount of money the city could be on the hook for has been a stick­ing point as peo­ple de­bate the bid, and Can­more’s green light is also con­di­tional on a fund­ing ar­range­ment the mayor says he wants to see con­firmed.

The town, about an hour west of Cal­gary and renowned for its ac­cess to hik­ing and ski­ing, wants “sat­is­fac­tory terms” for an agree­ment

with other or­ders of govern­ment about op­er­a­tional costs that Can­more, as the host of two sports, would be ex­pected to take on dur­ing the 2026 Olympics.

Mayor John Bor­row­man said he’s op­ti­mistic that a so­lu­tion can be found, but he

hopes to see cer­tainty be­fore the Jan­uary 2019 dead­line for the Cal­gary Olympic Bid Corp. to sub­mit its pro­posal to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee — as­sum­ing the bid pro­gresses be­yond Cal­gary’s Nov. 13 plebiscite.

Can­more would con­trib­ute $10 mil­lion to­ward the bid: $6 mil­lion in the value of the land where the ath­letes’ vil­lage would be built, and $4 mil­lion in cash.

Can­more coun­cil­lors voted 6-1 Tues­day night to sup­port the bid, which in­cludes host­ing biathlon and cross-coun­try ski­ing events at the Can­more Nordic Cen­tre, as well as build­ing an Olympic vil­lage in the town of 14,000.

Town coun­cil­lor Joanna McCal­lum was the sole coun­cil mem­ber who op­posed the Olympic mo­tion. She pro­posed sev­eral amend­ments, all of which were re­jected, in­clud­ing get­ting a guar­an­tee about how polic­ing and se­cu­rity costs would be cov­ered in the town dur­ing the Games.

The vil­lage would be con­verted into 242 hous­ing units after the Games, and 218 of those would be­come per­pet­u­ally af­ford­able hous­ing.

That could make a big dif­fer­ence in the town.

“In Can­more, that’s our most se­ri­ous need,” Bor­row­man said.

CHRISTINA RYAN FOR STARMETRO CAL­GARY

With Cal­gar­i­ans days from vot­ing on sup­port for a 2026 Olympics bid, Can­more Mayor John Bor­row­man says he trusts the process.

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