Updated: Aug 1
March 28, 2022
TEAM Councillor and mayoral candidate Colleen Hardwick says efforts by Kennedy Stewart and others to brush aside her motion for a plebiscite on a proposed 2030 Olympic bid amounts to “sidelining” Vancouverites.
“We had a plebiscite in 2003 for the 2010 Olympic Games and the turnout was the highest for any plebiscite in Vancouver history,” said Hardwick. “That vote cleared the air and told the International Olympic Committee that Vancouverites were incredibly supportive. We should give our citizens that same opportunity as we look at 2030. How can anyone be opposed to giving Vancouver residents a fair, open, transparent and democratic vote about an issue as big as hosting the Olympic Games? If we act now, we can add the question to the October ballot, saving the city the cost of a standalone plebiscite down the road.”
Hardwick said the decision by local First Nations to explore a bid on the Olympics with Vancouver and Whistler “demonstrates the powerfully positive impact” of the 2010 Games.
“Using the Olympic Games to foster real and practical reconciliation is something that should be applauded. Public consultation is important in any MOU process” said Hardwick. “Hosting the Games is a big ask of any community, and I believe the people of Vancouver should have their say, just as they did in 2003. A plebiscite tied to the municipal election in October isn’t anti-reconciliation, on the contrary it’s a chance for all Vancouverites to demonstrate their personal support for reconciliation, which is far better and longer lasting than the support of a handful of politicians. I’m sure that First Nations leaders thought long and hard with their communities before coming forward to support a 2030 bid. It’s only right that the broader community now be given that same opportunity to show their commitment.”
Hardwick said Stewart doesn’t want her motion to come to a vote at council because it would force council to make a decision one way or the other, and she cautions Vancouverites to “be wary” of any politician who doesn’t want voters to have a voice.
“This mayor would like nothing more than not to have to make any decision,” said Hardwick. “As for me, I was elected by the people of Vancouver and I take that seriously, including providing a voice on big issues like an Olympic bid. For the past three years Kennedy Stewart has all but ignored Vancouver voters, treating them like ATMs or impediments to his version of Vancouver. Not giving Vancouver voters a 2030 plebiscite is elitist, tone deaf and speaks volumes about the mayor’s real opinion of this city’s residents. He can couch it anyway he wants, but it all boils down to one question: do Vancouverites deserve a say in a 2030 Olympic bid? I believe we need to give Vancouverites a voice, give them a vote, and accept their decision. A 2030 bid should not be made behind closed doors. We should be transparent from day one. We did it in 2003 for the 2010 Games and we should do it for the 2030 Games. Anything less would be just one more example of city hall sidelining the voices of Vancouverites in their own city.”