Calgary

Calgary's Olympic bid won't be subject to freedom of information laws

City solicitor Glenda Cole told council that the bid corporation is a private company. She said much of its information could be withheld through the FOIP process, given the competitive nature of bidding for the Olympics.

Council rejected a motion calling on provincial government to apply rules to Calgary 2026

Calgary's Olympic bid, headed by CEO Mary Moran, won't be covered under Alberta's freedom of information laws. (CBC)

The organization tasked with Calgary's Olympic bid will remain outside Alberta's freedom of information rules. 

Council rejected a motion Tuesday to ask the provincial government to make that law apply to Calgary 2026.

City solicitor Glenda Cole told council that the bid corporation is a private company. She said much of its information could be withheld through the FOIP process, given the competitive nature of bidding for the Olympics.

Cole said Vancouver's Olympic committee did regularly share some information publicly and she hopes Calgary's bid chairman Scott Hutcheson will do something similar.

"I have shared that information with Mr. Hutcheson," she said. "He is aware of it. I'm sure he will do the best he can to make information transparent while still making sure he keeps Calgary 2026 — the City of Calgary and the members of Calgary 2026 — able to bid on the Olympic games should you wish to do so."

CEO compensation

Hutcheson, however, declined to reveal the compensation package for Mary Moran, who was announced as the CEO of Calgary 2026 on Tuesday. 

"We actually haven't signed a contract. We're working off of good faith to get Mary in this role and I don't think she starts for a week or two," he said. 

When asked if her compensation will be disclosed once there's a contract in place, Hutcheson wouldn't commit.

"I don't think so," he said. "I don't think that's necessary information in the public but, you know, we can look at that."

Hutcheson did, however, say that Moran would be eligible for bonuses if a plebiscite passes and if Calgary actually wins the right to host the 2026 games.

Public money 

Councillors Sean Chu and Jeromy Farkas said the corporation should be more transparent because it is funded with public money.

Their colleagues disagreed. 

"Coun. Chu and Coun. Farkas were looking to get their name in the newspaper, and this was an effort that they made that other than the two of them, the vast majority of council didn't support, said Coun. Evan Woolley, who chairs council's Olympics assessment committee.

"And so the question had been answered many times at committee. Remember that this committee has been meeting weekly for months now."

There's a potential special meeting of council set for Aug. 27 that could result in a vote to halt work or continue.

Then on Sept. 10, there'll be another discussion at council that could result in a vote to end Calgary's pursuit of the games, or allow the work to continue.

​With files from Scott Dippel.

About the Author

Drew Anderson is a web journalist at CBC Calgary. Like almost every journalist working today, he's won a few awards. He's also a third-generation Calgarian. You can follow him on Twitter @drewpanderson. Contact him in confidence at drew.anderson@cbc.ca.