Olympic security plans downgraded, admits RCMP
Force unable to provide Games security on $175-million budget
Internal planning documents obtained by the CBC show that security plans for the 2010 winter Olympics have been downgraded to reflect a lower level of threat.
But even so, a spokesman for the RCMP admits the force will be unable to provide the reduced level of security within the $175-million budget allocated.
In 2002, the Olympic bid committee submitted its security budget for the Olympics based on a "medium threat" level.
But the documents obtained by CBC through an Access to Information request reveal the threat level was downgraded to "low" by the RCMP in August 2006.
The documents do not say why the security threat was downgraded.
Other documents reveal that the RCMP was already struggling by 2005 to meet the $175-million security budget set out in the Olympic bid book.
Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre confirmed on Thursday in Vancouver to CBC News that the Integrated Security Unit plans are now based on a "low threat" level. Even at that level, he said the security budget for the games will be more than $175 million.
"When the bid went in, the integrated security unit was told, 'You'll have 20 venues to provide security to,' and as time has gone on, it's grownfive times that number," said Lemaitre.
"We have to be responsible and still discuss the reality of the situation.We now havefive times the number of sites to provide security to. It's going to cost more money," he said.
The documents were part of a package of more than 120 pages released to the CBC under an Access to Information request.