Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has requested for a bidding policy to be created where a referendum will be made mandatory ©Alberta Government

A referendum could be held in Alberta to decide on whether it should pursue its bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has asked for a bidding policy to be created to "ensure future international gaming bids using substantial provincial taxpayer dollars are subject to transparent public disclosure requirements and cost/benefit analysis".

Smith’s request came in a letter issued to Alberta’s Minister of Tourism and Sport Joseph Schow, as reported by the Calgary Herald.

Alberta is currently exploring the feasibility of a bid featuring the cities of Edmonton and Calgary for the 2030 Commonwealth Games.

The province has been selected as the Commonwealth Sport Canada’s preferred bidder for the event in seven years’ time after the collapse of the campaign from Hamilton, who had been hoping to mark the centenary of staging the first Empire Games in 1930.

Smith has previously refused to commit to a referendum on advancing a bid but is now looking at the possibility of making a public vote mandatory when considering bidding for major sporting events.

Alberta is expected to submit a bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games later this year ©Getty Images
Alberta is expected to submit a bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games later this year ©Getty Images

Schow has also not ruled out holding a referendum for the Alberta 2030 bid.

"When it comes to things like large-scale events, it’s important to get feedback from Albertans and how they feel their tax dollars are being used," said Schow in a report by the Calgary Herald.

"Going forward, we’re looking at building a framework that is going to be in the best interest of Albertans to make sure that should we go after international games, that it’s a good opportunity for us as a province."

Victoria in Australia had been awarded the hosting rights for the 2026 Commonwealth Games only for the state's Premier Daniel Andrews to announced its shock withdrawal earlier this month, blaming ballooning costs.

A projected budget for the event to be held in Alberta in 2030 has yet to be revealed but Smith has previously insisted that it would be "less risky" than the Olympics.

The Alberta Government has committed up to CAD$2 million (£1.2 million/$1.4 million/€1.4 million) to a study assessing the feasibility of the bid, while Edmonton and Calgary are expected to add CAD$1 million (£600,000/$725,000/€680,000) each to cover the next phase of the exploration process.

Campaign groups including the Canadian Taxpayers Federation have appealed for referendums in Calgary and Edmonton over the proposal.

Calgary previously hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and had attempted to bid for the 2026 edition only to collapse in 2018 after a plebiscite to reject the idea.

A spokesperson for the Alberta 2030 Commonwealth Games Corporation told Postmedia Network that it had held more than 250 meetings with stakeholders, including First Nations and community groups as part of the exploration process.

"These conversations are helping us to define the key priority areas for community development and the legacies they will achieve from hosting the Games," the statement read.

"This exploration stage is our opportunity to educate, to listen and to learn, which is core to the process we have undertaken and are committed to."

It also revealed the results of a study which found that 70 per cent of respondents were in favour of the Games being staged in Alberta.

An Alberta bid is expected to be submitted later this year and is unlikely to face competition, although Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Katie Sadleir claimed last month that it was not the only contender.