British Columbia

2010 Games security over budget: report

A newly released federal report says spending on security at the 2010 Winter Olympics was over budget.

A newly released federal report says spending on security at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games was over budget — but the department of Canadian Heritage's final figures might not add up.

The department's final report on the federal government's involvement in the 2010 Winter Olympics provides a tally of what was spent on essential federal services at the Games.

The total was $686.4 million spent by 13 different departments or agencies, including direct spending on security.

That is actually less than what they projected they'd spend helping organizers put on the Games.

But in a footnote next to the line item on RCMP spending, the federal government notes, "The Province of British Columbia is committed to an additional $252.5 million towards Games security, bringing the total security budget to over $900,000,000."

Adding up what the federal government spent overall on essential services and what B.C. spent on security does total over $900 million.

But some of the federal spending on essential services had nothing to do with security, like a $13.4 million cost of running weather and other environmental programs at the Games.

Another line item that wasn't provided for in the original security budget but noted in the final tally was $15.8 million for the Canada Border Services Agency.

More figures to come

A spokesman for Public Minister Vic Toews said he couldn't comment on how Canadian Heritage arrived at its calculations, noting only the final spending review for the RCMP portion of the bill had not yet been calculated.

"Final costs for the 2010 Winter Games security will be released when the RCMP-led evaluation process has been completed," Michael Patton said in an email. "As noted in Canadian Heritage's report, the evaluation will assess the security investment in the Games."

The RCMP reported earlier this year that the Mounties expected to come in under budget.

What was included in the original $900 million was funding for Citizenship and Immigration and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

In the final accounting, both agencies went over their original budgets.

According to Heritage's final report, CIC spent $3.8 million more than planned, while PHAC spent $2.1 million more.

Despite the increases, the bottom line for overall federal spending on the Games remained the projected $1.25 billion.

The report was released late Thursday afternoon, but no one at the department of Canadian Heritage was immediately available to explain the calculations.