– Al­berta would chip in $700M for 2026

Medicine Hat News - - FRONT PAGE - LAU­REN KRUGEL

CAL­GARY The Al­berta govern­ment says it would con­trib­ute up to $700 mil­lion if Cal­gary were to hold the 2026 Win­ter Olympics, but how the re­main­ing costs would be divvied up re­mains un­known with just a month to go be­fore a plebiscite on whether to bid.

A draft plan for a po­ten­tial bid pegs the to­tal cost at $5.2 bil­lion. It sug­gests the city, pro­vin­cial and fed­eral govern­ments should con­trib­ute $3 bil­lion of that. The re­main­der would come from Games rev­enue.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Joe Ceci said in a let­ter to Cal­gary Mayor Na­heed Nen­shi and fed­eral Sport Min­is­ter Kirsty Dun­can that there wouldn’t be any cash be­yond the $700 mil­lion.

“The govern­ment of Al­berta will not be able to pro­vide any ad­di­tional funds that may be re­quired, in­clud­ing those to cover rev­enue short­falls or cost over­runs,” he wrote Fri­day.

“More­over, we will not be pro­vid­ing any form of guar­an­tee for ad­di­tional costs aris­ing from any source.”

Ceci said the money is con­tin­gent on Cal­gary be­ing awarded the Games and on the bid win­ning ma­jor­ity sup­port in a Nov. 13 non-bind­ing plebiscite. The prov­ince in­sisted Cal­gary hold the vote and con­trib­uted $2 mil­lion to the cost.

An­other con­di­tion is that there would be in­creased trans­parency from bid or­ga­niz­ers.

“We be­lieve that is in the best in­ter­est of the bid and what Al­ber­tans want and ex­pect of their govern­ments,” Ceci said at a news con­fer­ence. “This is not an un­sub­stan­tial amount of money and Al­ber­tans should know where it goes and how it is dealt with.”

Dun­can has ex­pressed en­thu­si­asm for a bid, but Ot­tawa has not said ex­actly how much it would con­trib­ute.

Ceci said he’s con­fi­dent cit­i­zens will know be­fore the plebiscite how the fed­eral and mu­nic­i­pal govern­ments might split the re­main­ing $2.3 bil­lion.

Cal­gary and a com­bined Ital­ian bid of Mi­lanCortina d’Am­pezzo could be the only con­tenders for 2026. A coali­tion deal to run Stock­holm’s city govern­ment on Fri­day leaves the Swedish cap­i­tal’s po­ten­tial bid in jeop­ardy.

The dead­line to sub­mit a 2026 bid to the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee is Jan. 11. The suc­cess­ful host city is to be an­nounced in June.

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