Security Costs Report for the Toronto 2010 G8 and G20 Summits

Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)

  • 14 pages
  • June 23, 2010


The Parliament of Canada Act mandates the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) to provide independent analysis to the Senate and House of Commons on the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates and trends in the national economy.

Key Points:

  • The PBO was asked to assess the reasonableness of the security costs for the upcoming G8 and G20 Summits in Huntsville and Toronto.
  • The Government of Canada has been relatively transparent, when compared to other countries, on the costs of security related to the summits. The total cost of security for the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits amounts to $930M, which includes $507M for RCMP, $278M for Public Safety, $78M for National Defence and a $55M contingency reserve.
  • The PBO found it difficult to find comparable data of past events to assess the security costs related to the 2010 Summits. This is largely due to the lack of disclosure by other jurisdictions, differences in key considerations and cost drivers of summit security and differences between base versus incremental funding.
  • The estimated costs per RCMP officer and per Canadian Forces unit for the 2010 Summits have risen significantly since the 2002 G8 in Kananaskis. The cost per RCMP officer is also substantially higher than the cost per Canadian Forces unit, and the variance remains unexplained.
  • Based on the PBO assumption of a 65/35 cost split between two venues, the PBO does not feel the total cost of security of the 2010 G8 in Huntsville is unreasonable. However, the PBO is unable to provide an assessment of the reasonableness of the total costs of security of the 2010 G20 in Toronto because of the lack of comparable data. Parliament may wish to seek additional analysis from the government in the variance of G20 Summit security costs.

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