Olympic security tab pegged at $900M

Security for the 2010 Games will cost $900 million — more than five times the initial estimates of $175 million, the federal and provincial governments announced Thursday afternoon.

Security for the 2010 Games will cost $900 million — more than five times the initial estimates of $175 million, the federal and provincial governments announced Thursday afternoon.

The deal, announced shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama left Ottawa, will see the federal government pay $647.5 million and British Columbia $252.5 million.

Canada will assume any additional, unforeseen security costs.

“I’ve said all along, it’s the RCMP and the federal government that have the responsibility for security,” said B.C.’s Finance Minister Colin Hansen. “We just have a responsibility for funding a portion of it.

With these new arrangements, we’re living up to our obligation.”

The funding includes:

• $491.9 million for RCMP
• $212 million for Department of National Defence
• $11 million to Canadian Security Intelligence Service
• $137 million federal contingency for unforeseen events

VANOC CEO John Furlong said the $900-million price tag was the “right budget” to make sure everybody feels safe and secure.

“A well-secured Olympics, a happy Olympics, one where people feel good and they feel safe, will contribute to Canada’s reputation.”

B.C.’s share includes $87.5 million earmarked for Olympic security ($63.7 million of which will be paid shortly, by the end of the 2008 fiscal year) and an extra $165 million over three years. The money will be earmarked for shared federal-provincial infrastructure projects.

It raises B.C.’s commitment to the Games to $765 million, up from $600 million. The amount, he said, includes a $79-million contingency fund that has not been allocated.

 
 
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