Olympic organizers still don't know how much the federal government intends to spend on security for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver after the Conservatives failed to include the federal contribution in their budget Tuesday.
A spokesperson for B.C. Finance Minister Colin Hansen's office said the minister expects the overall security budget to be released within the next few weeks because the expense must be included in B.C.'s own upcoming provincial budget.
The federal and provincial governments have already agreed to split the costs of providing security at Olympic venues, but the two sides can't agree on what to include in the calculations.
Hansen said he believes when Ottawa does finally announces its spending plans, the figure won't reflect the true costs because it will focus on overall budgets, rather than specific expenses.
Estimates hit $1 billion
In October, Stockwell Day, then the federal public safety minister, acknowledged the total security budget for the 2010 Games in Vancouver and Whistler would be several times more than the original estimate of $175 million contained in the Games' 2002 budget.
The actual cost will be between $400 million and $1 billion, Day said in an interview with a Vancouver newspaper published last October.
B.C. is protected from cost overruns because the province is only paying for security inside Games venues, Hansen told CBC News last October.
The federal government is responsible for aviation and border security, and for RCMP services, and it is some of those security concerns, which were not included in the original plan, that are behind the rising costs, according to Hansen.
Stockwell Day is a former federal public safety minister. Peter Van Loan is the current federal public safety minister.Jan 28, 2002 1:05 AM PT