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.

Just Posted

Agreement signed to purchase, restore, manage Kus-kus-sum

A memorandum of understanding has been officially signed to purchase, restore and… Continue reading

Cumberland moves one step closer to single-use plastic ban

Council discussed a phased ban, starting with plastic bags and straws

Police investigate liquor store robbery in Courtenay

On Nov. 13 at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Comox Valley RCMP received… Continue reading

Comox child care centre among $10 a day prototypes

Government rolls out universal child care project, using 53 centres in pilot project

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Threat of extremism posed by proportional representation overstated: academics

As B.C. voters decide on electoral reform, the Vote No side is cautioning that the system would allow extremists to be elected

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Active investigation into reported sexual assault at Vancouver Island naval base

An Oct. 5 allegation is being investigated by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Many child killers have been placed in Indigenous healing lodges, stats show

As of mid-September, there were 11 offenders in healing lodges who had been convicted of first- or second-degree murder of a minor

Expect no quick end to Canada-wide cannabis shortages, producers warn

Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta have all reported varying degrees of shortages

Vancouver Island home lost to fire, but family and 14 dogs are safe

Firefighters were called to a blaze Wednesday morning at house near Nanaimo Airport

Most Read