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Updated: 23rd October 2018 01:26

Feasible but is it prudent? Calgary council gets Olympics bid update

The committee exploring Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics gave council an update at Monday's meeting, saying a bid is possible and feasible, but council will need to determine if it's prudent.

Nenshi said without commitments from the province and Ottawa, it's a hard no

The committee exploring Calgary’s potential bid for 2026 Winter Olympics gave council an update at Monday’s meeting, saying a bid is possible and feasible, but council will need to determine if it’s prudent. (Jonathan Utz/AFP/Getty Images)

The committee exploring Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics gave council an update at Monday's meeting, saying a bid is possible and feasible, but council will need to determine if it's prudent.

"We still need to determine if this is the right thing for Calgary to do financially," committee director Kyle Ripley told council.

The committee had hoped to demonstrate a commitment from the other levels of government for funding on Monday, but the federal government has not yet fully signed on.

"If we don't get a 'Yes' from both of them, we are done. You just can't fund it unless you have all three together," Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

The current funding proposal would see the $30-million bid cost split between the city, the province and Ottawa. If council decides to go ahead, the city's cost would be $9.5 million, $10 million from the province and $10.5 million from the federal government.

"The deadline at the end of March is an International Olympic Committee deadline for interested cities to enter the candidature process," Ripley said.

Two formal off-ramps to ditch bid

In June, Calgary hopes to have firm funding commitments in place.

"By that point and time, we believe it would be important to have a sound understanding of each order of governments participation in the entire program," Ripley said.

June is one of two off-ramps, the ability for the city to pull the plug on a bid, but Nenshi said there are options too.

Councillors Druh Farrell and Jyoti Gondek both raised the issue of corruption and doping and how the IOC manages them.

Farrell says it was a recent interview that suggested the IOC had not really changed the way it operates, despite saying it has.

"Then I heard Becky Scott's interview. And I thought perhaps they really haven't changed. Their approach to change is simply the most cynical I have ever heard," Farrell said.

Cost-shared observer program to cost $135K

An IOC observer program, two waves of executives heading to PyeongChang Olympics next month, is going to cost $135,000.

"Delegates will assess existing and built infrastructure used at the Games, liaise with other orders of government, explore potential economic development opportunities," Ripley said.

The program is cost shared by all levels of government and the Town of Canmore.

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