bc-090209-olympic-security

The Canadian Armed Forces will play a major role in security at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler. ((CBC))

The federal and provincial governments have revealed their revised estimates for 2010 Olympic Games security, now pegged at $900 million, or almost five times the amount initially estimated.

Under the new agreement, B.C.'s total contribution will be $252.5 million, which includes $165 million in new money that was announced Thursday.

The province's new funding will go toward infrastructure and will involve capital spending spread over three years.

"This allows us to take what was going to be a pressure on our operating budget and cap it, so that we didn't have to divert dollars away from other programs in the province, such as health care and education, to live up to  our Olympic security obligations," Colin Hansen, Minister Responsible for the Olympics, said Thursday.

The federal government announced in a news release that its total contribution will now be $647.5 million and also, that it will pay for any unforeseen costs that may arise.

"It would be nice if we could do it for less, but our approach has not been to set a budget and then deliver security for that budget," said Peter van Loan, the federal minister in charge of Olympic security.

The province initially estimated its contribution for providing security for the Games would be $87.5 million. As recently as last July, Hansen announced the entire security budget would be $175 million.

Subsequent estimates, including one from the federal government, suggested the entire cost of providing security for the Games could cost as much as $1 billion.

Corrections

  • The B.C. government initially estimated its portion of Games security costs would be $87.5 million, not $175 million as originally reported. As recently as July 2008, Colin Hansen, minister responsible for the Olympics, announced the entire security budget would be $175 million.
    Feb 19, 2009 3:31 PM PT