Calgary

Whistleblower deserves 'gold medal' for leaking Calgary Olympic documents: taxpayers group

Advocacy group the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is praising a whistleblower who leaked municipal documents pertaining to Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

The documents show there are additional costs above what the bid committee estimated

Someone inside Calgary council or the city's administration leaked a document with details about the cost of an Olympic bid to the CBC. (David Bell/CBC)

Advocacy group the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is praising a whistleblower who leaked municipal documents pertaining to Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games.

"All costs need to be laid clearly on the table. Calgarians have a right to know the total bill that will come with hosting the 2026 Olympics," said the group's Alberta director Franco Terrazzano in an emailed statement.

"Whoever this mysterious whistleblower is, they deserve a gold medal."

The documents show there are additional costs above and beyond the $5.2 billion estimated by the Calgary bid exploration committee that council will have to consider if Calgary hosts the Games.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said he will be writing to the integrity commissioner to request a full investigation into the leak.

City manager Jeff Fielding also said he'll be directing corporate security to undertake an investigation of administration in regard to the leaked document.

Council discussed the leak during a late evening session Monday, after Coun. Jeromy Farkas submitted an inquiry into both the debt burden of the 1988 Olympics and what the repayment schedule would be like for 2026.

"I am deeply troubled with the fact, not that we're coming forward with this motion arising, but that a leaked document lead to doing this," said Coun. Peter Demong.

"In the eight years that I've been here, I can count on my left hand the times we've seen a leaked document of this proportion."

Nenshi said during the meeting that the original document leaked was devoid of context. He said a new report will contain more information once it's released at the next meeting of the Olympic oversight committee.

Terrazzano said he doesn't think the city should be working to track down the whistleblower. He called on council to release a final cost tally before Calgarians weigh in on the non-binding plebiscite on Nov. 13.

"City Hall should be making additional efforts to increase transparency, not tracking down someone who is providing taxpayers with information they deserve," he said.

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