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

UPDATE: Fire crews suppress smouldering fire on Highway 19 north of Campbell River

Wildfire reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Intertidal walk looks at life on the reef in Campbell River

Biologist Sandra Milligan has been leading walks for 13 years

Residents welcomed to new Habitat for Humanity homes in Campbell River

New homeowners received keys during ceremony at affordable housing development

North Island College School of Business celebrates 150 grads

Most recent graduates honoured at mixed at the end of May

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Most Read