Albertans need a vote on Commonwealth Games

Author: Kris Sims 2023/03/09


LETHBRIDGE, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the governments of Calgary, Edmonton and Alberta to hold a referendum on whether or not Alberta’s two largest cities should pay to play host to the Commonwealth Games in 2030.

“People are fighting to afford groceries right now and there’s no way taxpayers should be forced to pay for an expensive global sporting event without even being asked first,” said Kris Sims, Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “We need a vote on this before a single nickel of taxpayers’ money is spent on this plan, because if taxpayers are going to get stuck with another big bill, the least the politicians can do is to ask us if we want to pay for it.”

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Wednesday she’s not sure if Calgarians need to vote in a plebiscite before being made to pay to help host the event.

“I don’t know where things are going to land through the exploration so not sure yet it will require a plebiscite,” said Gondek. “I am really hopeful people will see the value of this type of investment.”

“Mayor Gondek should hear from the people in a referendum if she wants to know how much they value this event,” said Sims. “She shouldn’t just assume their agreement.”

The Alberta government announced the province will contribute up to $2 million and the cities of Edmonton and Calgary are promising another $1 million each to the bid.

It’s not yet known how much hosting the Commonwealth Games would cost if they were held in Calgary and Edmonton. As a point of comparison, the city of Hamilton passed on being the host when it was estimated to cost approximately $500 million.

“In 2018 the working people and taxpayers of Calgary voted NO to hosting the Olympics, even though fancy people and politicians really wanted to make them pay for it,” said Sims. “It’s important to give the people a say, so they need a vote on this.”


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