G8/G20 costs top $857M

The federal government spent nearly $858 million on the G8 and G20 summits in June, according to documents presented Friday in the Commons.

Final tally 25% less than estimated cost: officials

The federal government spent nearly $858 million on the G8 and G20 summits in June, according to documents tabled Friday in the House of Commons.

The RCMP received at least $330 million in funding to handle the G8 and G20 summits in Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto in June. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

The exact number, $857,901,850.31, is 25 per cent lower than the summits' estimated cost of $1.13 billion.

The tally is considered final and no additional costs are expected, according to a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. It also includes reimbursements to municipalities and other partners, whose bills are due on Dec. 1.

The documents tabled Friday outline specific costs for each department or ministry as of Oct. 28.

Of the $858 million, nearly a third, or $330 million, went to the RCMP.

The RCMP's expenses included:

  • $89.8 million for salaries, overtime and benefits.
  • $65.2 million for accommodation.
  • $15.1 million for perimeter security costs.
  • $15.4 million for radios.
  • $43.9 million for meals, travel and fleet requirements.  

Spending 'rather outrageous': critic

Mark Holland, the Liberal critic for public safety and national security, said it would "take a while" to review the more than 1,000 pages of documents.

"Obviously, we're going to be taking a look at more ridiculous expenditures like fake lakes or … ridiculous amounts spent on … snacks, on hotel bills, on car rentals," Holland said outside the Commons.

"The spending to this point has been rather outrageous. And that's just what they've let us know about. So I can imagine as we dig through these documents that we'll find more outrageous waste."

He said his party would submit the documents to the parliamentary budget officer for further review.

Earlier Friday, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose vowed to table all costs related to the summits "down to the penny." Ambrose said the majority of the costs related to security.

"But Canadian taxpayers deserve no less," Ambrose said during Friday morning's question period.

Other expenses listed in the documents include:

  • $17,000 for shuttles to transport foreign affairs employees between Hunstville and Toronto.
  • $13,000 for renting fine art, plus $9,000 for insuring it.
  • $26,000 on generators.
  • $14,142 on down jackets for a pre-summit meeting in Iqaluit.