NoCalgaryOlympics have called on the City Council to "come clean" regarding the cost to taxpayers of hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics ©NoCalgaryOlympics

The anti-Olympic campaign group NoCalgaryOlympics have called on the City Council to "come clean" regarding the risk to taxpayers if the Canadian city stages the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

It comes after the Government of Alberta pledged to provide substantially less funding than the Bid Committee initially hoped for.

The province announced they would provide CAD$700 million (£408 million/$537 million/€464 million) in funding for the bid, instead of the CAD$300 million (£174 million/$230 million/€198 million) the bid team asked for.

Alberta had vowed to announce their financial support 30 days prior to a crucial plebiscite on the Calgary bid on November 13.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci wrote to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Kirsty Duncan, the Federal Minister of Science and Sport, to confirm the extent of their funding support.

In response to the news, NoCalgaryOlympics have called on the City Council to "come clean on the risk for Calgary taxpayers".

As part of their statement they ask three questions.

These are "what is the updated risk to Calgary taxpayers?", "what does Council know today about the increased impact on Calgarians?" and "what cost is too much for hosting the Olympics?"

"From the outset of pursuing an Olympic bid, all stakeholders said they don't want the Olympics at any cost," a statement added.

"That statement needs to be quantified - what cost is too much?"

The group's founder Daniel Gauld added that taxpayers "remain in the dark" as to what hosting would mean for them.

The Calgary 2026 Bid Committee have addressed the issue of transparency on their website ©Calgary 2026
The Calgary 2026 Bid Committee have addressed the issue of transparency on their website ©Calgary 2026

"It is starting to feel like no-one is comfortable with where this bid process is today," he said.

"Calgarians are being asked to make a big, costly decision that could impact their taxes and city services for years to come.

"But they don't have enough information."

The Calgary 2026 Bid Committee outlined their proposal last month, in which they said hosting would cost CAD$5.3 billion (£3.1 billion/$4 billion/€3.5 billion).

As part of their proposal they said they would require CAD$3 billion (£1.8 billion/$2.3 billion/€2 billion) of city, provincial and federal funding, with the remaining money set to come from Games revenues.

The published proposal was labelled as "the bid book".

"It is not reasonable or fair for Calgarians to have their vote based only on the bid book, which is a draft that has already changed and needs to change again based on revenue shortfalls," Gauld added.

In statement sent to insidethegames in response, the 2026 Bid Committee said NoCalgaryOlympics "fails to point out the positive impacts" hosting the Games would have on Calgary.

"Preliminary estimates show the 2026 Games would mean a CAD$2.032 billion (£1.190 billion/$1.564 billion/€1.351 billion) GDP [Gross Domestic Product] gain for Alberta from 2018-2040, more than CAD$1.4 billion (£820 million/$1.1 billion/€931 million) in wages for Albertans (over CAD$1 billion for Calgarians) and a combined CAD$200 million (£117 million/$154 million/€133 million) in taxes for the City of Calgary and The Government of Alberta," a spokesman said.

"And, 20,000 jobs would be created to put on the Games, an annual investment of CAD$1 billion," (£585 million/$770 million/€665 million) they added.

"All of this would be a great stimulus for the Calgary and provincial economy."

This is not the first-time problems have arisen with regard to the bid's proposed funding.

Shortly after the bid book was published, a council document was leaked which suggested the total cost of the Games could in fact be higher than the suggested figure of CAD$5.3 billion (£3.1 billion/$4 billion/€3.5 billion).

The city will vote on the bid at is plebiscite on November 13.

If the bid loses it will almost certainly collapse, although the vote is not binding.

Calgary, the 1988 host, was approved as a candidate by the International Olympic Committee last week.

They were joined by Swedish capital Stockholm and a joint-Italian effort between Milan and Cortina D'Ampezzo.

insidethegames has also contacted the City Council and YesCalgaryOlympics for comment.