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

‘Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia’ is coming to Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

On Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., ‘Out of the Interior’ documentary will screen at Gate House Theatre.

North Island Rising: Political polarization

This fall there will be a minimum of four candidates wanting your vote here on the North Island.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Most Read