Calgary 2026 CEO receives no bonuses for plebiscite, selection of bids

Mary Moran speaks at Winsport after being announced as Calgary Olympic Bid Corporation's CEO in Calgary on July 31, 2018.

Jim Wells / Postmedia

The new CEO for Calgary 2026 will not receive performance bonuses for the successful recalibration of an Olympic bid by means of a val-plebiscite or in case Calgary is selected for hosting the games.

The head of the board of the bidding company stated on Friday that Mary Moran declined bonuses on top of her basic salary of $ 290,250

The action comes after opponents of the bid were vocal in their opposition to previously announced plans to reward Moran for achieving the most important goals.

"She will earn the same remuneration she received from Calgary Economic Development in 2017 and 2018, which is $ 290,250 per year, pro rata for the rest of the year", bidco chairman Scott Hutcheson wrote in a post-media column which was published on Friday.

"Mary denounced the chance to earn the compensation recommended by the search company and any bonuses for a successful plebiscite or bid."

Hutcheson had previously suggested that Moran would receive bonuses to achieve those goals. In an interview on Friday, he explained that his previous comments had been made before a contract with Moran was signed.

"It seemed like there was some resistance and the behavior that some of the audience did not like," he said. "So, to make this work work in a slightly different way," Mary said, "let's not add bonuses to this compensation."

Hutcheson also credited Moran for rejecting a higher basic salary than initially recommended by the search committee. "I think the responsibilities of her current job are much bigger, but this is the kind of person who is Mary."

Arden Dalik, senior partner with Global Governance Advisors specializing in executive remuneration, called it a "smart move" to limit a bonus structure at this stage of the bidding process.

"It's what I would call a quasi-public sector job because it's public dollars, and it's going to be very talkative," Dalik said. "It is not appropriate to introduce bonuses Firstly, the Alberta temperature for bonuses, especially in the public sector, has really deteriorated."

Dalik said that Calgary 2026 does not want to be accused of the advance assessing the result of the plebiscite – especially if it is a non-binding vote and could still approve the city council to continue with a bid, regardless of the outcome.

"It does not have to be spoiled by someone who says," Well, Mary just wanted to get her bonus. "That would be a bad situation to deal with."

Dalik said that if Calgary won the bid, introducing a bonus structure based on very specific targets for delivering locations and budgets would be logical.

"In this phase of the game, I think they are really smart with the way they interact."

Skeptics of the bid remain critical of Calgary 2026, because it is an organization that is more closely aligned with the wishes of the International Oly mpic committee than Calgarians.

No organizer of the Olympic Games in Calgary, Erin Waite, said that Calgary 2026 initially thought of bonuses related to a positive outcome of the bid, suggests that it is an organization that "bids at all costs" bid want to do.

However, Hutcheson says while the Games are not being pursued at all costs, Calgary 2026's mandate is not to remain neutral, but to put together a successful bid with the input of Calgarians.

"Our mandate is not to be irresponsible, nor is it neutral, it is to put together a bid that Calgars would want."

The city council will make the final decision as to whether Calgary will continue or not with bid for the 2026 Olympic Games.

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Twitter: @mpotkins

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