Montebello summit cost Ottawa, Quebec police $11M

Posted by admin on Nov 7th, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007. CBC News

 The City of Ottawa and the province of Quebec each spent millions to boost security during a western Quebec summit attended by U.S. President George W. Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Prime Minister Stephen Harper this summer — even though Ottawa police never went to the summit. The Quebec provincial police spent more than $7 million to secure the perimeter outside the Fairmont Château Montebello resort during the summit of North American leaders Aug. 20 and 21, the force confirmed to CBC Tuesday.

The Ottawa Police Service spent $3.7 million during the summit for policing in Ottawa, which is 60 kilometres west of Montebello, Que., the service confirmed Tuesday.

The RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police were also involved in security during the summit, but those two forces have yet to say how much they spent.

The Quebec officers, many wearing full riot gear, were dispatched to watch over up to 1,500 people who were in Montebello to protest against the Security and Prosperity Partnership trade and defence agreement being discussed by Bush, Calderon and Harper.

Almost two-thirds of the Quebec force’s costs went toward overtime, while another $2.5 million covered expenses such as equipment, communication and food and lodging for officers in the town.

The Ottawa Police Service’s costs stemmed from the force’s need to be ready for protests in Ottawa leading up to and during the summit, said Geoffrey Simpson, its director of finances.

“There was a cost for overtime charges, there was also some … planning team costs, and we also had the assistance of five other Ontario police services that came to Ottawa to help us.”

He added that the service has asked the federal government to refund those costs, but doesn’t know if that request will be fulfilled.

Paul Dewar, the NDP MP for Ottawa Centre, said he doesn’t think that kind of money should have been spent on an out-of-town event in the first place.

“It was a very high bill. And the concern here is that here in Ottawa, we were having to fork out $4 million for police services for essentially a non-event.”

  • SPP/Tar Sands
  • Comments Off on Montebello summit cost Ottawa, Quebec police $11M

Comments are closed.