The future of the Calgary 2026 bid will now be decided in a plebiscite in November ©Calgary 2026

Councillors in Calgary have voted 12-3 in favour of keeping the city's 2026 Olympic and Paralympic bid alive.

A "no" vote would have seen the 1988 host withdraw from contention for the Games in eight years' time.

The issue will now face the public through a referendum on November 13.

It was earlier revealed that hosting the Games in Calgary would cost CAD$5.3 billion (£3.1 billion/$4 billion/€3.5 billion) as the Bid Committee publicly revealed details of their plans for the first time.

The vote was held after lengthy discussions which went on late into the night in the Canadian city.

It had been described locally as the "final off-ramp" for the City Council in their debate over whether Calgary should host the Games.

A previous ballot in March saw councillors vote 8-6 in favour of continuing with the bid process, before a 9-6 vote the following month.

The 12-3 vote in favour of continuing the effort will now see attention shift from the Council across to the public of the city.

Councillors Sean Chu, Joe Magliocca and Druh Farrell reportedly voted against the idea.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi claimed the public had enough information now to go to the plebiscite in November.

"Based on what I've heard today I certainly think that with the exception of the piece on the actual share from the Provincial Government, we're ready to go to a plebiscite," he said, according to CBC.

"The province has promised that they will come forward with those provincial numbers in plenty of time for the vote."

A separate vote by the council saw a 10-5 decision in favour of continuing negotiations with the Federal and Provincial Governments about funding.

Campaign group NoCalgaryOlympics said they were disappointed in the Council's decision not to end the bid, citing that with the sharing cost unknown, they were unable to ensure that the public would not be responsible for cost overruns.

"If Council members were true to this principle they voted on in July 2017, they would have taken the off-ramp today," a statement from the group read.

"It is disappointing that City Council did not give due consideration to this current economic uncertainty, as well as cold hard facts like the 27 per cent downtown office vacancy which is the highest in the country, high debt levels at all three levels of Government, including record-high long-term debt carried by the City of Calgary which reached $3.07 billion at year end 2017.

"For many Calgarians, the costs are the major concern for hosting the Olympics, but concern is also significant regarding the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"Pursuing a competitive bid caters to the interests of IOC members rather than to the needs and priorities of Calgary.

"It is simply bad business to enter the IOC's host city contract that gives total control to the IOC while all of the risk is shouldered by the city.

"Without full and thorough information on cost plus opportunity cost, and the critical cost sharing agreement still outstanding, City Council had good reason to take the off-ramp today.

“Instead, today’s decision was counter to what any sensible business person would make.

“Calgarians are now the last hope for protecting the interests of the City as our Council has chosen to collectively shirk its responsibility.

"We look forward to seeing Calgarians cast a vote at the November 13 plebiscite aligning their priorities with the interests of our city’s future by saying ‘no’ to hosting the IOC in 2026."

Calgary remains one of five candidates in the running for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Stockholm 2026 are pushing ahead with their Olympic bid despite fears over a lack of political support in the Swedish capital.

Doubts also remain over possible efforts from Sapporo in Japan, Erzurum in Turkey and an Italian bid involving Milan, Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

The IOC is due to confirm the shortlist at its Session in Buenos Aires next month before a host city is chosen in 2019.

Bids from Sion in Switzerland and Graz in Austria have already withdrawn.