$175 million enough for Olympic security: minister
The B.C. cabinet minister responsible for the 2010 Winter Olympics predicts there will be no cost overruns for security.
The $175 million now budgeted for security should be enough, said Colin Hansen, who joined delegates from future and potential host cities meeting in Vancouver this week to discuss Olympic security.
Other recent Olympic cities, including Athens and Turin, spent more than that, but Hansen said they used their security budgets to build new police stations and upgrade equipment.
"We're notlooking at going on [a] big shopping binge to outfit the RCMP with new equipment to meet their needs for the next 20 years based on an Olympic budget," Hansen told CBC News.
B.C. plans to learn what it can from Italy's experience at the recent Torino Winter Olympics, Hansen said.
Cesare Vaciago, CEO of the 2006 Winter Games in Turin,has warned Vancouver organizersnot to waste money on overpriced security systems.
Vaciagosaid organizers in Turinused the so-called "mag and bag" system for security, which involves special magnetometer metal detectors and bag searches. He said the systemcost too much, provided no extra security and caused long lineups at events.
"And you can avoid it simply through manual inspection, which is more precise, more attentive and done by experienced guys," he said.
But Vaciago said he doubts the Vancouver organizers will take his advice,noting the producers of the metal detectors have a strong lobbying presence at the government level.