CALGARY -- A Calgary city councillor who backed the decision to build a new arena in Calgary is speaking out against the Calgary Flames after it was revealed that Flames hourly and event employees won't be paid for shifts cancelled as a result of the season being paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I've waited with anticipation all day that the #CalgaryFlames would step up and do the right thing,” Coun. Jeff Davison wrote in a tweet shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night.

An email obtained by CTV News Calgary confirms staff will not be paid.

"Alberta Employment Standards requires that employers provide 24 hours notice for cancellation of scheduled shifts," reads the email from Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the Flames.

"CSEC will pay employees where the notification of cancellation was less than 24 hours. No payment will be made for shifts cancelled with greater than 24 hours notice."

The NHL announced Thursday the season is being put on hold indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

The National Lacrosse League, which includes the Calgary Roughnecks, and Western Hockey League, which includes the Calgary Hitmen, have also suspended their seasons. Both of those teams, also owned by CSEC, play out of the Scotiabank Saddledome as well.

"CSEC will pay for your March 12, 2020 shift if you were scheduled to work as the notice of cancellation was less than the 24 hours required by Alberta Employment Standards," reads the email.

Stores operated by CSEC at the Saddledome, North Hill Mall and South Centre Mall will remain open.

Affected employees are encouraged to file for EI.

Davison also posted about the issue on Saturday morning.

“We currently face an unprecedented crisis and must ensure we take care of each other physically and financially. No one should have to worry about their pay — governments and corporations must work together to ensure every tool and mechanism is available to support our people,” he wrote.

And he wasn’t the only councillor speaking out against the Flames on Saturday. Coun. Druh Farrell also called on the team to pay staff.

"You’ve been given $300,000,000 of public funds for a new arena. Surely you can afford pay your staff during this crisis," she wrote.

Coun. Jeromy Farkas told CTV News the Flames need to step up — especially after their history in the city.

"Taxpayers had their back when they came asking for funds for a new arena," Farkas said. "Given the economic situation has changed, I feel it's only fair for the Flames to have Calgarians' backs."

In December, city and CSEC officials signed an agreement that will see each pay half of a $550-million price tag for construction of a new arena in Victoria Park.

Lou De Asis has worked as a cashier at Saddledome events for two years. He called the news "ridiculous," saying it was unfair to take aim at employees who rely heavily on the income stream.

"There’s a lot of people around my age who are probably students who may have this as their only job, so it’ll be tough for them to make up for this," De Asis said. "It’s going to be a struggle to make ends meet."

"And then they (the CSEC) talk about you can apply for EI? It’s basically a slap in the face."

Reaction to the news online came swiftly on social media, including from some members of Calgary city council.

"Some NHL and NBA teams have shared plans to ensure part time and event staff are compensated throughout March. The Flames have announced they will not do the same. Given the recent $275M subsidy provided by City taxpayers, I hope that this will be reconsidered," Coun. Jeromy Farkas wrote in a Facebook post.

"As stated below: If the Flames organization won’t do it, let's at least hope some of the players will take it into their own hands as some players for other teams have done. What do you think?" 

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers announced plans to assist employees.

"All part-time staff affected by a temporary halt in our operations will receive financial payment to bridge them between their maximum EI benefits and their regular average earnings for remaining regular season games,"  the team wrote in a statement.

In December, city and CSEC officials signed an agreement that will see each pay half of a $550-million price tag for construction of a new arena in Victoria Park.

CSEC officials have not responded to a request for comment.

A GoFundMe page for the Saddledome workers created by Flames season ticket holder Raymond Lau raised nearly $40,000 by Sunday morning, far exceeding its $10,000 goal. At least five donations of $5,000 have been made under the names of Flames players.

As of 6 p.m. Saturday, there are 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.