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Save Calgary
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Farkas calls on council to freeze paycheques for remainder of term There are small business owners in Calgary having to do just that. And after wasting $40m of taxpayer money on an Olympic bid, perhaps they should try tightening their belt.
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Bell: “It’s time now, council, to accept the will of the people,” says Nenshi. But it doesn’t take the mayor long to guide us on another trip of his Olympic fantasyland. Once again, Nenshi says observers think Calgary’s bid was the most transparent bid in Olympic history. If that is true it says more about the Olympics than about Calgary’s bid, which was a dog’s breakfast, and that’s insulting to dogs and dog food. “I’m very proud this was truly a community-driven and community-built bid,” he says. Of course it wasn’t, unless your idea of the community was a collection of the most well-heeled polls in the city. The mayor is also proud Calgarians got to decide the Olympic bid’s fate. Again. City council didn’t push for a plebiscite. The Notley government did. Nenshi says it’s not true Calgary puts all its eggs in the Olympic basket. Well, we were told repeatedly by the Olympic bid crowd how the Olympics was Calgary’s best hope to turn around the economy, a view debunked by economists. Nenshi lays it on thick. The mayor says Calgary was named the best city in the western hemisphere to live and that takes … are you ready for this … “the work of a thoughtful, dedicated, forward-thinking city council.” Is it just me? Wasn’t the Olympic No vote also a kick in the butt to city hall and Nenshi? Nobody talks about the many ways city hall screwed up the Olympic bid. Nobody talks about the victory of the people against the high-and-mighties who tried to ram this bid down our throats. Nobody talks about the triumph of a near-penniless David against the heavily bankrolled Goliath. Nobody talks about the unanswered questions, the cloak-and-dagger secrecy. Nobody talks about the message. Don’t treat Calgarians as those who should just shut up and pay the freight. And get this "Heard some of the Yes side who can’t take No for an answer might have a top-secret plan to save the Olympics for Calgary, or at least part of them."
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Braid: The premier was answering questions about Calgary council’s bizarre attempt to keep leftover Olympic money already paid by Ottawa and the province, and also get cash promised for the actual Games. To add to the zaniness, there is background buzz about a Olympic rescue effort involving . . . Edmonton. Then Nenshi said Calgary should get to keep the $10.5 million from Ottawa and $10 million from the province. That was nervy enough. But immediately after, council voted to approve Nenshi asking both governments for much of the $2.1 billion promised for the actual Games. After Notley straightened out her face, she said: “We’re still looking into the state of play with the money that was initially put forward with respect to the bid and the plebiscite.” Translation: Send back the money, or we’ll send bill collectors. Regarding the attempt to get some of the $700-million provincial offer for Olympic facilities and upgrades, Notley added: “The city of Calgary is certainly always welcome to make representations for various and sundry infrastructure projects.” Further translation: Get back in line with all the other municipalities. There was no word on these council requests from Ottawa. A question brought only deep silence. She called it “foolish . . . a feeble attempt, in my view, to save face.” It was all that, with a touch of humiliation thrown in.
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Finally, it's officially over. Thank you to all Calgarians who saw past the campaign of misinformation, redacted documents and ridiculous claims, and forced common sense on Calgary council.
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“Now we hear the complaining. Now we see the finger pointing. It’s someone else’s fault. None of this is on Nenshi.” It was the feds! It was the province! If only we had one more week and another million of your tax dollars to spend on ads! Reality: this was one of the largest turnouts in history for a plebiscite with a clear majority that included Calgarians from both ends of the political spectrum. PS. On another note, City Manager Jeff Fielding says there is very little wiggle room in this budget that is looking at a residential property tax increase of 13% and commercial tax increase of 25%. Not a dime of Olympic spending is in this budget. If the bid had gone ahead, no sign in the budget of where that $390m would have come from.
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Many have asked what the “No” side’s alternative is to hosting the Olympics. As I said today on Danielle Smith show, the City of Calgary faces significant challenges. High unemployment and a collapse in tax revenue from the empty downtown towers for starters. These problems have external and internal causes. Low commodity prices and a lack of pipelines have definitely hurt our economy, and years of unsustainable spending increases have created a city government that is too costly for Calgarians to sustain. The answer to these problems isn’t to hold an Olympics - it isn’t a magic lamp that we can rub to fix all of our problems. The answer is a lot more mundane, but critical for our city - and it definitely isn’t to hike taxes massively on either people or businesses. While it’s tempting to look for a silver bullet for all of Calgary’s problems, there just isn’t one that will fix the real problems we’re facing. Anyone pretending otherwise is being disingenuous and making promises they can’t possibly keep. Attracting businesses to Calgary means reducing taxes on both people & businesses, cutting red tape and excessive regulation, and restraining or reducing spending to have Calgary live within its means. Make it the single most attractive place to do business in North America. Getting the fundamentals right is what will grow Calgary’s economy over the long-term, & spending billions on an Olympics will actually make our economic situation worse, not better. Maybe it’s not as exciting a message as a glitzy two-week Party, but it’s the right approach. ~ William McBeath spokesperson for Save Calgary
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We Did It Calgary!
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Unofficial #yycvote results for Vote 2018: 304,774 Ballots Cast 132,832 FOR Calgary hosting (43.6%) 171,750 AGAINST Calgary hosting (56.4%) I’m the battle of “David vs Goliath on Steroids” David wins! The grassroots win! Calgary wins!
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Less than an hour until the polls close. As long as you're in line by 8pm, you get to vote. And while you're waiting in line, consider this. Councillor Evan Woolley is the chair of the BidCo committee. He's seen everything that was redacted and the public isn't allowed to see and he switched his vote from YES to NO.
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Remember when Moran said without the Olympics we'd be Winnipeg...well looks like Winnipeg is getting the last laugh now. But somehow there are people out there who trust council to budget properly for an Olympics? https://buff.ly/2TcHGo0
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