Nathan Cirillo funeral cost almost $400K

Hamilton policing costs for the funeral for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was killed in the Ottawa shooting while on honour guard at the National War Memorial, included road closures, traffic and security. It's still not clear who is paying.

Among the mourners was a long list of political guests, including the Prime Minister

In this photo from the day of the funeral, Kathy Cirillo (3rd L), the mother of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, mourns as his son Marcus Cirillo (2nd R), looks on. Cirillo was shot and killed while on duty at Parliament Hill in Ottawa by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on October 22. (Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Getty)

Hamilton Police Service says its costs for assisting at the funeral and memorials for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the Argyll killed while on honour guard of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, will top $310,000. 

When cost estimates from the City of Hamilton and the Department of Defence are added in, the tab for the full military funeral and memorials is currently just shy of $400,000. 

But that total touches on just a small portion of the costs involved in the event that drew attention from across country.

What it doesn't include are the costs to attend for some 4,500 military and emergency service workers who took part in the full military funeral, including salaries and transportation for the many units, pipe bands, reservists and others who participated in the full military funeral.

Cirllio, who was killed on Oct. 22, when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed Parliament Hill armed with a rifle, killing Cirillo on his way. Cirillo, a member of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was also a Hamilton resident and father, and received of a full military funeral in Hamilton. 

High security

Among the mourners was a long list of political guests, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the leaders of the federal NDP and Liberal parties, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau. Each individual office is responsible for its own travel costs, according to the Department of Defence.

With the country still on high alert and the Prime Minister in attendance, security was high with snipers on rooftops, and what appeared to be an all--hands-on-deck approach to policing.

That $310,000 figure is a combination of normal staffing and special duty and call-in staff. Police spokesperson Catherine Martin said the normal staffing costs amount an estimated $140,000, while additional staff accounted for $170,000.

Martin said the "national-elevated threat level throughout the repatriation, visitation and funeral was a factor," and that police conducted "traffic duties, road closure duties and venue security," throughout the events. 

Six-day estimate

She said the costs are for the six-day period that included the public mourning outside the city's Armoury, the repatriation of Cirillo when his body was brought back to Hamilton, as well as the visitation and funeral. Most of the police presence was seen on the day of the funeral itself with extensive road closures, and snipers on top of rooftops, including the armoury and across the street from Christ's Church Cathedral, where the funeral ceremony took place.

Martin said the service will be pursuing reimbursement for some of its costs from the federal government. "At this time, we have not received any funding to offset incurred costs."

The City of Hamilton said it was in discussions with the federal and provincial governments, as well as police and the Department of Defence, in early November about the costs of the funeral.

City spokesperson Mike Kirkopoulos said the city is still calculating the costs, but is currently estimating its bill at $69,000, including $15,000 to rent out FirstOntario Place (formerly Copps Coliseum) for overflow viewing of the funeral, $44,000 for "public works" costs, and $9,000 in road closures. 

Some of those costs included security measures, such as the removal of all garbage bins along the official route in the days leading up to the funeral. 

The city is seeking to be reimbursed by the federal and provincial governments. Kirkopoulos said those conversations are "ongoing."

The DND has told CBC News that the only costs covered are that of the normal funeral itself and Cirillo's burial plot. Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services public affairs officer Michèle Tremblay said that number varies, but the DND pays out a maximum of $14,666 for funeral and burial services, and covers the complete cost of the plot at the cemetery of family's choosing.

Tremblay also said many of the funeral services were offered in kind for Cirillio, and it does not expect to receive many bills for his funeral service. 

The total costs so far, which do not include tallies from each political leader or individual regiment who participated comes to an estimated $393,666.


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