The federal government is demanding Calgary quickly present details — such as strong company arguments — tied to the town’s 2026 Winter Olympic intentions if it anticipates Ottawa to chip in tens of thousands of dollars to help fund the bidding procedure early in the new year.
Kent Hehr, the national Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, stated Calgary hasn’t supplied Ottawa with an Olympic suggestion. Mr. Hehr said he wrote a letter to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi pressing him for advice last week.
The minister said he’s pleased when Canadian cities wish to hold international sporting contests, but the government will withhold money until aspiring hosts make persuasive cases.
It will cost between $25-million and $30-million to bid for the Games, a sum that would be shared with Calgary, the Alberta government and Ottawa.
“This must make sense in an economic and real style,” Mr. Hehr said.
Mr. Hehr’s request comes as Calgary bureaucrats reconsider the present Olympic master program and have introduced civic politicians with another budget to the 2026 Olympic Winter Games that’s half a billion dollars greater than the forecast currently on the table. The town says the new budget isn’t meant to replace the present proposal, but it does indicate that the city is far from making final decisions on key components such as places.
On Monday, Calgary’s elected officials gave city employees a tight deadline: The bureaucrats have until early next year to convince the federal and provincial governments to help fund the bidding process prior to local politicians give employees all the money they asked to study a possible bid.
Mr. Hehr said he thinks the government can make a quick decision, but not with a purposeful plan. “We will need to see a genuine proposal put forward by the city, but now we just have not noticed that,” he said. “We have not been engaged with a business case however. We can not run before we walk.”
Earlier this year, a research group called the Calgary Bid Exploration Committee estimated that it would cost $4.6-billion to hold the 2026 Games. CBEC’s investigation runs roughly 5,400 pages and presumes Calgary and neighbouring mountain communities will play host to each of the occasions.
Mr. Hehr said he hasn’t examined those documents.
CBEC has since been disbanded and town employees are now overseeing the procedure. On Monday, councillors granted them permission to assess venues away from the city in a bid to lower the financial burden of holding the Games.
The Alberta government said it needs more information before supplying money to make sure an Olympic bid is in the best interests of Albertans.
Calgary’s bureaucrats have presented council with a rough sketch of an alternative to CBEC’s proposal.
The new alternative predicts it would cost approximately $5.1-billion to hold the Games, suggesting the city may rip up crucial components of CBEC’s venue program.
CBEC, by way of instance, proposed spending $26.05-million to temporarily reconfigure the Stampede grounds into a place appropriate for the opening, closing and medal ceremonies. City team’s new outline doesn’t mention the Stampede grounds, but allots $50-million to spruce up McMahon Stadium, though it doesn’t indicate why. The soccer stadium, which held the opening and closing ceremonies when Calgary was host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, isn’t a part of CBEC’s blueprints.
The revised budget includes the entire cost to construct a field house near the University of Calgary, which was part of CBEC’s facilities plan, but not in its own funding. This is a significant reason the alternate budget is bigger than the original, based on Kyle Ripley, Calgary’s Director of Recreation.
The team record was supposed to be confidential, but it had been released publicly after it had been referenced during a public part of Monday’s council meeting. The document isn’t intended to replace CBEC’s proposal, but is, rather, a sample of what could be placed before council, Mr. Ripley said.
“It is very similar to an architect when they’re considering designing a home — they will draw a range of different facades until they develop one which their customer is happy with,” he said.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail