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Security Budget For Vancouver 2010 Balloons

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Federal and provincial officials announced Thursday the revised security budget and cost-sharing agreement for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Security for the 2010 Games will cost $900 million, more than five times the original $175 million estimate. Since the original estimate security experts have reportedly grappled with the massive undertaking of dealing with the expected flood of visitors, athletes and officials, reports CTV.

Under the provisions of the new financing arrangement, the Government of British Columbia will pay the remaining portion of its $87.5 million commitment by March 31, 2009 and increase its commitment for the joint staging of the Olympic Games by an extra $165 million through an increased share of joint federal-provincial major infrastructure costs over the next three years.

Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety said, "as hosts of the 2010 Winter Games we are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for athletes, visitors and Canadian. The Government of Canada and its partners have a comprehensive approach to security planning, and we are on track to host a secure Games.

"Our objective is to deliver a safe and secure Games, so that what people remember is the excitement of the competition and the celebration, and not any questions of security", he said.

Security for the Games will be headed up by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and includes more than 8,000 personnel from local police and the Canadian Forces.

Until now both the provincial and federal governments have remained "tight lipped" about the final figure, but CTV reports the delay in releasing the number was blamed on protracted cost-sharing negotiations between different levels of government.

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