A young girl learns to skate on the ice at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Plaza on a warm day in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

A young girl learns to skate on the ice at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Plaza on a warm day in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Ottawa, Alberta reach agreement on funding proposal for Calgary 2026 Olympic bid

A Calgary city councillor is expected to introduce a motion today that asks council to kill the city’s potential bid to host the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games over ongoing concerns about funding.

Calgary city council will decide Wednesday whether a last-minute revamping of financial terms is enough to save a potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A bid seemed destined for the dust bin after Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s Olympic assessment committee.

Coun. Evan Woolley, who chaired the committee, brought forth motions to kill the bid and cancel a Nov. 13 plebiscite asking Calgarians if they want the Games or not.

Those motions were referred to Wednesday’s council meeting.

He said the provincial and federal governments and the city could not come to a cost-sharing agreement on the $3-billion public investment asked for by the bid corporation Calgary 2026, which had estimated the total cost of hosting the games at $5.2 billion.

“The gap is too large,” Woolley said.

But Calgary 2026 announced Tuesday night that an agreement was reached between the federal and provincial governments to consider a new funding proposal.

The public investment required was reduced by $125 million to $2.875 billion.

Under the revamped terms, the Alberta government’s commitment of $700 million would remain the same.

The Canadian government’s contribution would be $1.453 billion in 2018 dollars, not the $1.75 billion in 2026 dollars the feds had offered.

The remainder would be covered by the city in a breakdown that includes $370 million in cash, plus another $20 million to cover a premium on a $200-million insurance policy against cost over-runs, for a total of $390 million.

Related: Calgary city council to vote on killing bid for 2026 Winter Games

Related: Sapporo ends bid for 2026 Winter Olympics

The city’s previous commitment to spend $150 million on improvements in the Victoria Park and Stampede Park area — the site of the proposed athletes’ village and potentially a new NHL arena — was also included in the city’s 2026 contribution.

“This is a proposal that makes sense and is a good deal for Calgarians,” Calgary 2026 board chair Scott Hutcheson said in a statement. “I’m confident we and our government partners can agree to move forward and reach an agreement in principle.

“I know city council understands how important this is to Calgary, that they know what’s at stake here, and that they will show their strong leadership and allow Calgarians to decide the outcome of the Olympic and Paralympic bid at a plebiscite November 13.

“These will be Canada’s games, Calgary’s choice.”

Calgary 2026 was organizing a pro-Olympic rally to be held in front of city hall Wednesday morning.

Advance voting for the plebiscite is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi wasn’t ready to call Calgary’s bid for 2026 dead Tuesday.

“If you know me, you know I am a Canadian football fan and in the CFL you often get that last field goal in the very last second going through the uprights,” the mayor said after the committee meeting.

“What council has to do … is determine whether there’s enough there for Calgarians to vote on two weeks from today, or if they feel that the clock has in fact run out without the field goal.”

Neshi was not immediately available for comment Tuesday night.

Calgary was the host city of the 1988 Winter Olympics. The venues still used for international and domestic competition and training are the foundation of a second bid.

Calgary 2026 estimated $502 million would be required to get those venues Olympic-ready again.

Calgary 2026 chief executive officer Mary Moran predicted hosting the Games again would bring $4.4 billion into the local economy.

The bid corporation says it has built $1.1 billion in capital and operational contingency funds into its draft host plan.

The International Olympic Committee has committed $1.2 billion in cash and services to the 2026 host city.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

File photo
New skate and ski trails in the City of Wetaskiwin this winter

Outdoor skating rinks open in the City and County of Wetaskiwin.

The Government of Alberta has identified 1,828 new cases and 15 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the provincial death toll to 590. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 1,828 new COVID-19 cases on Friday

Central zone has 1,251 active cases

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. (File photo)
Wolf Creek and Wetaskiwin school boards ‘reassured’ by letter from LaGrange

Boards urge the Alberta government to honour commitments to Indigenous peoples

Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive. File photo.
Loki’s Car Club hosting its first annual holiday toy drive

Local Wetaskiwin businesses set up as toy drive drop off locations.

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta now has 17,743 active cases of COVID-19

Province now has 17,743 active cases

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Judge finds former Alberta Mountie not guilty of sexually assaulting colleague

Jason Andrew Tress, who is 34, was stationed in the northern Alberta community of Faust at the time of the alleged assault

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Alberta set to retire coal power by 2023, ahead of 2030 provincial deadline

In 2014, 55 per cent of Alberta’s electricity was produced from 18 coal-fired generators

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Lacombe Police and RCMP have charged four people and seized three loaded guns and a small amount of methamphetamine following a traffic stop on Dec. 2. (Photo contributed)
Lacombe Police and RCMP arrest four people after joint investigation

The operation resulted in multiple loaded weapons seized and 116 charges

Longtime central Alberta politician Judy Gordon has passed away. Photo courtesy of the City of Lacombe
Former Lacombe Mayor Judy Gordon passes away

Gordon also served as MLA for Lacombe-Stettler before retiring from politics in 2010

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Most Read