Monday, May 18, 2009

Timeline in the evolution and secrecy of the 2010 Olympic security budget

Jan. 22, 2003: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games Security Operations Financials Concept source of $175 million original security budget.

July 6, 2007: B.C. public safety deputy minister David Morhart, 2010 Winter Games Secretariat CEO Annette Antoniak and federal officials given $466.12 million estimate by RCMP Asst. Comm. Roger Brown and Pacific region chief financial officer Robert Jorssen. PowerPoint presentation says "mid-November 2007: target date for public disclosure of validated security costs." Same communications strategy conveyed in a July 12, 2007 RCMP presentation to Treasury Board Secretariat.

Note the date: July 6, 2007 was the day associate deputy minister of Public Safety William Elliott was announced as the first civilian commissioner in RCMP history, which dates back to 1873. Public Safety deputy minister Suzanne Hurtubise, co-chair of the 2010 security committee, was absent from the meeting. Hurtubise was on the search committee that recommended Elliott for the job.

July 16, 2007: Briefing note by Insp. Alain Duplantie and Jorssen to RCMP commissioner William Elliott: "The new and largely preliminary estimate ($466M) is up considerably from the originally approved $175M security budget... this estimate is based on a comprehensive security package that covers all outstanding security gaps and issues, some of which may not be the responsibility of the RCMP."

That briefing note also said "key personnel" from Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, VANOC and RCMP headquarters "will meet during the week of July 23 to review deployment numbers, examine opportunities for efficiencies and integration with VANOC, and determine and validate baseline resource requirements."

Note the date. July 16, 2007 was the day Elliott was sworn-in as RCMP commissioner.

July 26, 2007: CBC reveals a Sept. 9, 2005 RCMP "Financial Resource Gap" document that says $175 million insufficient.

Aug. 14, 2007: CTV reports RCMP Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit chief Bob Harriman pushed/jumped out of his job. RCMP news release on Aug. 15, 2007 says Harriman's departure from the post was a mutual decision with RCMP superiors. "He was not fired, nor did he quit," the news release said. "There is no connection (to the Olympic security budget), and the timing is purely coincidental." (In other words: nothing to see here, move along.)

Oct. 24, 2007: RCMP announces hiring of Bud Mercer as the new V2010 ISU chief, "chosen from a shortlist of candidates by representatives from Public Safety Canada and BC’s Police Services Division of the Solicitor General’s Ministry, as well as the RCMP and the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) for the 2010 Winter Games."

Nov. 6, 2007: Brown, Mercer and Jorssen update Vancouver 2010 security committee with total RCMP budget estimate of $490.3 million.

July 22, 2008: federal Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day admits to 24 hours “it’s going to be more than 175 (million dollars).”

Oct. 9, 2008: Day tells Vancouver Sun during federal election campaign that the budget would be more than $400 million and less than $1 billion.

Feb. 19, 2009: New Public Safety Minister Peter van Loan announces $900 million overall security budget for 2010 Games, including $491.9 million for RCMP.

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