First, there was shock that more than a billion dollars would be spent by the Harper government on the upcoming G8 and G20 summits. (In comparison, the security costs for the previous G20 summit in Pittsburgh were $18 million.) Then there was the news that the $75 million dollar an hour photo-op summit would not seriously tackle the issues of climate change, a global bank tax, nor maternal health. That was followed by the ridicule of the federal government spending $2 million on a fake lake (we dubbed it ‘Harper’s Folly’) and other faux surroundings inside the convention centre where the G20 summit is taking place. Now we have the ineptness of the RCMP hiring an unlicensed firm to do private security for the event.
The Globe and Mail reports today that, “The company awarded a federal government contract to provide private security for the G8 and G20 summits is not licensed in Ontario.”
“Contemporary Security Canada, a subsidiary of a U.S.-based company, was selected by the RCMP to provide about 1,100 workers to screen pedestrians throughout the summits in Huntsville and Toronto. But security guards and their companies are required by provincial law to be licensed, and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said Contemporary Security Canada is not approved.”
Laura Blondeau, spokeswoman for Minister Rick Bartolucci, says, “We are scrambling to do that due diligence with the aim of getting them licensed so they can proceed. So we’re kind of behind the eight ball on this.”
“Awarding a licence typically takes four to six months.” The G8 and G20 summits begin in just 16 days.
“The cost of the summit has been estimated at nearly $1-billion. The RCMP has said that about $321-million is being spent on venue security, intelligence gathering and the expenses associated with bringing in police officers and private security guards.”
To join the Council of Canadians call to scrap the summits, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3761.