It remains unclear who would foot the bill for potential security overruns should Calgary host the 2026 Winter Olympics, after the federal government signalled last week any extra costs incurred would not be its responsibility.

On Tuesday, Mary Conibear of Calgary 2026 told members of council’s Olympic assessment committee that the bid corporation has been assured federal Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale would sign a guarantee to ensure the safety and security of the Games.

“We will get a guarantee. It’s been approved to be signed by the minister of public safety,” she said. “It says we require a guarantee from the relevant authority that guarantees a safe and peaceful celebration … So we’ve been assured that the minister of public safety will sign that guarantee, and that will encompass how they would deal with the financial arrangements as well.”

Conibear said that guarantee is due by January 2019.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan confirmed the federal government would sign the security guarantee.

“The bid proposal includes an approved security plan developed by the RCMP, Calgary Police, and the Calgary Emergency Management Agency,” said spokesperson Craig MacBride. “We are glad to have a workable agreement and that this plan is available to Calgarians before they vote in the plebiscite. The federal government is signing the Olympics guarantee, which guarantees a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympics Games.”

But multiple requests for comment by phone and email, to seek clarification as to whether that guarantee would leave Ottawa on the hook for potential overruns of the $495-million security budget, were not returned.

“What I can tell you is that the federal government is responsible for the Games security,” bid corporation spokesperson Ruth Anne Beck stated in response to the same question.

Duncan told reporters last week the …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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