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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

How to spend $1 billion on security

I’m happy to be in Vancouver not my home town of Toronto right now. Turning Toronto into a police state for a few days at the cost of $1 billion hardly seems like a good use of public funds, especially when we know the final communique will preach fiscal belt tightening.

But what does $1 billion of security look like? During February’s Olympics close to $1 billion was spent on security, and that was for 17 days plus construction and tear-down of security perimeters on numerous venues in Vancouver and Whistler. And still it seemed like phenomenal overkill — police at every transit station, and on almost every corner downtown, plus helicopters flying over all the time. In Toronto, for a G-20 event that is much shorter and confined in space, how does one get to $1 billion?

The math is boggling when you consider that security is mostly people on the ground keeping eyes open for bad guys. Let’s assume a police officer is working overtime at a lofty rate of $1,000 per day (actual cost would be much lower), and they work five consecutive days before, during and after the event, for $5,000 per warm body. To get to $1 billion implies a force of 200,000 police officers. Now, I’m guessing that a lot of the money is actually spent on technology, in the form of surveillance cameras, airport screening units and computer systems — most of these are capital costs that police are going to want to use long after the event.

So what is up? It will be interesting to see the accounting on this summit after the fact.

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Comment from Erin Weir
Time: June 27, 2010, 8:28 pm

Having participated in yesterday’s march, I can provide anecdotal confirmation that the security was pretty impressive. But I have no insight on how they got over a billion dollars.

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