Spin spin spin.

Proponents of Calgary’s potential 2026 winter Olympic bid are going into full damage control mode as the secretive and loosely cobbled bid process is falling apart. 

Taxpayers were already getting pretty skeptical with the grossly understated Olympic expenses being proposed from the secret Olympic bid committee and their skepticism has evolved into outright opposition to the bid as real numbers begin to emerge. 

Nenshi and gang were counting on the provincial government to commit at least $1 billion dollars towards the Olympic games.  What they got was a subdued press conference from Joe Ceci held on a Friday afternoon where it was announced that the provincial government will contribute maximum of $700 million to the games and they attached a number of conditions. 

Aside from the 30% reduction in potential provincial funding, the tone and conditions of the funding announcement told a bigger tale as it was clear that the provincial government does not share Naheed Nenshi’s enthusiasm in spending billions of dollars on a two week party while the province remains mired in recession.

They made it clear and repeatedly that the $700 million was a MAXIMUM expenditure from the province. This is their way of saying “don’t even try to ask for more”. They also put transparency conditions upon the funding which were modeled purposely to poke at the most secretive Mayor and council in Canada. Calgarians are becoming increasingly frustrated and annoyed with a city council and administration that doesn’t trust them with information on how their own tax dollars are being spent. Clearly the Notley government doesn’t want to get dragged down in the backlash from this secretive group as an election approaches. 

Even Nenshi is having trouble polishing this Olympic turd these days and it shows in how he is starting to frame his excuse for when the Olympic bid fully falls apart under the opposition of taxpayers in the coming plebiscite. 

“I think if you’re looking at the city putting in $800 million, more than the province, that is not a good deal,” Nenshi said Monday.

Nenshi then began mumbling about some ways that spending can be cut on the games in order to make them feasible. 

Come on! We all know that the $5.3 billion dollar number is grossly low already. Vancouver cost well over $7 billion and Tokyo is now looking at a staggering $25 billion and growing for their games. Don’t bullshit us further in claiming that you can make that $5.3 billion dollar number even smaller. We would be lucky to come in at $10 billion in reality. 

Lets talk about measures of public support. 

As is usual, Nenshi has tapped the services of Stephen Carter in pushing for this multi-billion dollar pet project. A hallmark of a Carter campaign is to typically see a leading polls which all lead to the conclusion that the pollster wants to see. This was heavily and successfully utilized in Nenshi’s first mayoral campaign and we saw a taste of it last winter as a grossly weighted “engagement” was put out by the city where people had to answer about a dozen leading questions in order to register a simple no vote. 

The Olympic “yes” side is heavily funded and has experienced campaigners. Despite this, we have not seen a series of poll results released showing momentum for the games bid.

We know the polls are being done, so why are we not seeing any results? 

Its because polls are showing a broad lack of support among taxpayers for the games!

There can be no other reason. Campaigning 101 calls for using positive polls to try and build upon supportive momentum. The only reason one would not do this is if there simply isn’t enough of a support base to begin with and the momentum just can’t be built. 

The city of Calgary put out an engagement poll a couple weeks ago on their site. 

Despite the constant positive cheerleading from the city, they still can’t manage a glimmer of positive support from taxpayers as nearly 4,000 people have taken part in the process and 80% remain opposed to bidding on the Olympic games!

Olympic cheerleaders are understandably mortified by this public relations backfire. They have lamely tried to claim that their process was “hijacked” by opponents to the games. Their desperate reaction is sadly laughable. 

The only thing that the site was “hijacked” by was reality. 

People simply can’t bring themselves to support this terribly Olympic game bid while we remain in a recession. 

I posted a 24 hour poll on Twitter yesterday. It clearly will have a slanted outcome as I have been a vocal opponent of the Olympic bid and my following reflects that. All the same, I cant control who votes which way and proponents can’t be kept from voting. With an open vote such as that, 75% or so in support of my view would be expected. 

With 360 people voting in 24 hours even I was surprised as we found 91% of people opposed bidding on the games. 

Yes, in the end only one poll counts and that will be the one held on November 13. 

Right now though, it is looking very unlikely that Calgarians are willing to embrace this extremely expensive venture proposed by the Mayor and his gang. 

Expect the spin to get more desperate and shrill as proponents continue to push the games in light of dwindling support. 

It is going to be an ugly few weeks yet but it appears that Calgarians see through it. Lets just hope they make a point to get out and vote. 

3 thoughts on “Spin spin spin.

  1. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Captain Purple and his motley crew ignore the results if they’re “no” and push ahead with this disaster in waiting anyways. It’s all about that legacy after all, and that group would be arrogant enough to try to scold taxpayers for “voting incorrectly”.

  2. NOOO,,, all I see from this council see secret sweet deals and my taxes going up,, no more spending no more tax hikes to pay from your party.. no even a new rink,, no new stadium for football and it’s $5.2billion out the gate

    • I’m just watching my section of SW Calgary & the subdivision from hell (or more likely, the one too far) is currently being built. S, SE, of Silverado. I know there are others scattered around the fringes, but I’ll just give my take on the limited horizons offered to me in this part of the City. Maybe 20-30 spec homes up (the place is gigantic! They expect about 7,000+ units to be built) some look occupied, but what bothers me about this overbuild is that the “infrastructure” installed to bring this project about is huge. Underground 8′ drain piping, now the roads, sewers, water, power, gas, telco in, or going in. Where is the money going to come from to carry this “investment” that lacks people or an economy to support it? Off your home taxes for the next 50 years, while it sits pretty much empty because there is no economy here & Ottawa is out to make sure their isn’t.
      The additional build will drive (if it isn’t already) prices for homes to levels that the Banks might want to eyeball repossessing, like a margin call on over-borrowed folks.

      Now the bright lights in Downtown want to impose a two week or so Party called The Olympics on this? How are Ottawa’s Carbon taxes going to fit in, or the “new” CPP premiums on businesses going in on Jan 1st, $15 an hour McJobs.

      Our political class & their fan boy/girls who support them on all this, are right off their sticks. They probably gave themselves a raise to “offset” any of the proposed measures to rape this province on Carbon taxes to replace what used to be Equalization. Economically vapid. It’s out right theft of your future & your kid’s, if you get right down to it! $5.2 billion for a Party that will really cost us about $10+ BILLION, or more when all the tally is done. Hell, even the Olympic Committee is shorting us on costs, the cheap bastards! They can read a sucker from a mile away.

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