Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand and try to set the record straight from what my hon. colleague across the floor has just gone on about.
First off I would point out that 2010 is not 1995. This is post-2001. There is a tremendous difference in security and the security needed for important world leaders who came together to Canada. It was an opportunity for Canada to showcase our people and our country.
Some of the numbers that my hon. colleague has floated out there have now been corrected and I would hope that he will take the time to have a look at some of them.
Some of the issues are certainly different from what was initially said. Even last week we heard from the RCMP that its estimated numbers for overtime and for personnel just for the RCMP are going to be considerably less than it initially anticipated.
These were two summits that brought together world leaders to discuss important issues as we go forward, including the world economy, issues that affect all of us and certainly Canadians.
We also know as Canadians that when we belong to these organizations, as others have said, when the bill comes is not the time to get up and go to the washroom.
We are mandated to host the G8 once every eight years. We have done that. The G20 included more than the G20. It included a number of other nations.
Just for the security alone for the people who came, the security for the members of the press who numbered over 3,000, the security for lawful demonstrators and to keep the people of Toronto safe and secure, all of these things took nearly 21,000 security people.
Our security partners came from across the country. It is certainly different from what would have been required in 1995.
When my friend across the way talks about what the costs are in other nations, I think it has been very clear, and other independent bodies have said that other countries are not nearly as open and transparent about their costs. They bury their costs in a variety of places. Perhaps I used the wrong term to say “bury” but their costs come from a variety of places that are not listed on sheets as is done in Canada.
Very recently we have heard numbers from Seoul, South Korea, on what it anticipates the costs would be and they were extremely low. However, when the ambassador was recently asked he indicated that a billion dollars was not an out of line figure for South Korea to expect when some of the other associated costs are included.
Canada got its value. It was an opportunity to showcase this country. The City of Toronto has attempted a couple of times to host the Olympics but it did not get them. These summits brought the world to Toronto and showcased a beautiful urban city.
Just from that perspective that part of it was worthwhile, but the issues that were discussed were of importance to Canada and Canadians, and certainly made the summits in Canada very worthwhile.