News / Calgary

Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi prepared to give the province what it needs for Olympics

City has a spending limit until the Alberta Government and Federal Government agree to help fund a formal bid for the 2026 Games

Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently had talks with Rachel Notley, and the Olympics came up.

ELIZABETH CAMERON / for Metro

Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently had talks with Rachel Notley, and the Olympics came up.

Calgary's Games-loving mayor said the city's ready to give the province, and feds, whatever they need in order to decide on an Olympic investment.

Last week, Naheed Nenshi met with Rachel Notley and talked about a whole lot of things – including Calgary's lust for the Olympics. Although the mayor said he had a broad discussion about many topics during their meeting, he said she echoed what she's said publicly about supporting the Olympics.

"I pointed out to her that council has imposed a deadline for the federal and provincial government of January to know whether they're in to help fund the bid or not," Nenshi said. "We'll do what they need."

Last week, Notley said there's a lot of documentation and conflicting opinions and documents associated with the Olympics.

"We owe it to taxpayers to think very hard about the economic benefits to make sure they are significant and real," said Notley.

"I'm happy to listen to people, to talk about it, but I'm reserving my decision until I've had a chance to review all the evidence."

She said there are ongoing meetings about the Olympics, but the government's not at a decision-making stage.

Calgary councillors decided to throw another $2 million at city administrators to continue to look into whether or not the city should be bidding on the Olympics. But half of that money is contingent on the province and feds agreeing to help fund the $25 to $30 million it would cost for the city to prep a formal bid.

Kyle Ripley, sponsor of Calgary's Olympic bid told Metro last week that cash would be used to actually create a dedicated team to continue the work they once treated as "side of the desk."

Now, it's front and centre with the city's investment that he said will help advance the bid design and continue engagement with Calgarians. The cash injection will also help the city's hires to travel and advance talks with both levels of government about a bid company investment.

More on Metronews.ca