Sunday New York Times headline:
Canadians Are Agog at the Security Bill: $12 Million Per Hour
Few Canadians expected that hosting world leaders at back-to-back summit meetings here this weekend would be cheap or convenient. With downtown Toronto a security maze, businesses boarded up and even the beloved Blue Jays baseball team sent packing, the meetings have met all expectations for aggravation.
But it is the cost of providing security that has elicited gasps.
The latest government estimate is $897 million for three days of summitry. That comes to about $12 million per hour, or a total near what the government spends per year in the war in Afghanistan.
The piece proceeds to list the security costs for other global klatches:
Security for the 2002 Group of 8 meeting in the Canadian resort of Kananaskis, Alberta, for instance, cost only $217 million. The 2004 meeting on Sea Island, Ga., separated from the mainland by four miles of marsh, cost about $135 million to secure.
That was then.
Now, the cover charge is at least a billion.
See: last winter’s Vancouver Olympics. (Via Bloomberg)
Security costs for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver will be about C$1 billion ($822.6 million), more than five times higher than original estimates when the Canadian city won the bid in 2003, the Globe and Mail reported.
Moral of the story: Be careful what you bid for.