Canada summit had huge police OT bill

May 30, 2011 at 10:27 PM
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TORONTO, May 30 (UPI) -- Canada spent millions to bring in police from around the country for last summer's summits in Toronto, records show.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp./Radio-Canada reported Monday that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police paid a total of $7 million ($7.2 million U.S.) to hire 657 officers from 17 forces -- some as far away as Vancouver, British Columbia -- during the Group of Eight and Group of 20 meetings in the last two weeks of June 2010.

Most of the pay was calculated at vacation or overtime rates as much as twice normal wages.

The RCMP says it had to use officers who were on vacation or time off from their forces, and pay them under union contracts.

"It's absolutely ludicrous that you would ever employ anybody on the basis that two-thirds of their work is going to be overtime, and only one third is going to be regular hours," said John Sewell, a former Toronto mayor.

The RCMP contracts were a tiny portion of the summit's $650 million ($668 million U.S.) security cost. Most of the 20,000 police and military personnel worked for local or provincial police.

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