Documents reveal how Tories spent G8/G20 millions

Move over fake lake: new documents show taxpayers shelled out millions for everything from glow sticks to port-a-potties for the G8 and G20 summits.

By THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — Move over fake lake: new documents show taxpayers shelled out millions for everything from glow sticks to port-a-potties for the G8 and G20 summits.

The documents — obtained by the Liberals — detail for the first time exactly how the Harper government spent over $1.2 billion on the June summits.

The highlights include more than $10 million for hotel accommodation for the RCMP, more than $5 million for rental vehicles for the Mounties; $4.4 million for the notorious security fence, $1.4 million on communications “cabling;” and $439,000 on portable toilets.

Then there was $14,000 on glow sticks and $85,000 for snacks at Toronto’s swank Park Hyatt hotel.

Many of the contracts were also sole-sourced, meaning there was no competitive bidding.

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, who requested the documents, called the spending “reckless” and accused the Conservatives of wasting taxpayers’ money.

“I think the government appears to have taken the approach that money is no object,” he said.

“I think now we are getting a little closer to the picture as reckless spending by the government, the same kind of reckless spending and lack of responsibility when it comes to sole-source contracting as we see with the F-35 jets.

“The reality here is that there is very little oversight and I’m very concerned about the level of sole sourcing.”

The government came under fire last spring for the cost of the summits — especially $1.9 million to build “fake lake” pavilion in the Toronto media centre.

The government tabled the breakdown of the summitry price tag late Thursday, in response to a written question from McTeague requesting details of all contracts for goods and services related to the twin summits.

The eye-popping dollar figures amount to only a partial accounting of the summits’ cost, however.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service refused to disclose details of its expenditures, citing national security and the need to protect “operational integrity.” The agency noted that its operations are subject to full review by the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

The Foreign Affairs department said its expenditures were accounted for in the 2009-10 spending estimates and gave no further detail.

The one-day G8 summit was held in Huntsville, in Muskoka cottage country. The summit of G20 leaders was held in downtown Toronto, where anarchists went on a rampage, torching several police cars and smashing windows.

The documents detail primarily expenditures by the RCMP, which total more than $70 million, and the Public Works department, which total more than $100 million. Some highlights include:

— $333,831 for personal outdoor kits, including sun screen, insect repellent and hand sanitizer.

— $14,306 for bug jackets and $26,000 on mosquito traps.

— $1.1 million for mess tents.

— More than $250,000 on cameras and video recorders.

— $459,000 on desktop computers and $109,000 on laptops.

— $8,892 for a pontoon boat.

— More than $40,000 for fire extinguishers.

— More than $60,000 for binoculars.

— $14,236 for two paper shredders and two CD shredders.

— $23,100 for a Panasonic HDTV.

— $13,384 for “miscellaneous textiles, headgear, umbrellas etc.”

— $207,900 for solar lighting.

Even though the hotel tab for the Mounties ran to more than $10 million, the force appears to have paid another $4 million for a license to use a quarry site in Muskoka for temporary accommodation.

And despite the thousands of police deployed to protect the summit leaders, the RCMP also forked out $2.8 million for additional protection services from the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.

Public Works, meanwhile, shelled out more than $14 million for hotel rooms and food services, as well as $5.3 million to lease the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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