Cost of security for Bush
Published Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:40PM MDT
RCMP refuse to say how much it cost to provide security for George W. Bush's visit to Calgary.
While the former president was in Calgary police presence followed him everywhere he went.
Event organizers paid for security inside the Telus Convention Centre where Bush spoke on Tuesday but taxpayers paid for security everywhere else.
Organizers of similar events say security costs are a necessary part of bringing high profile people to Calgary.
"We don't tolerate the threat of assassination and that's what we're talking about. We're not talking about the privileged few having dinner. We're talking about a foreign dignitary and the threat of violence in the air," says Stephen Carter from Carter McRae Events.
City police say Bush's visit didn't cost any extra money because they used officers already on duty.
While no one will confirm how much security for Bush cost, CTV News has learned security for President Obama's visit to Ottawa cost over $3-million.
Bush is not the only visiting dignitary to come to Calgary this year.
The former U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, will be at the University of Calgary in May.
In September, it's the Dalai Lama who will be coming to town.
Organizers insist the benefits outweigh the security costs. "When someone like the Dalai Lama comes in, the security is heavy and expensive but we never let it stand in the way of bringing such a person of international stature," says Carter.