TORONTO - Toronto has put the federal government on notice that it won't be left on the hook for costs arising from hosting the huge G20 summit in the city's core this June, the city manager says.
At the council meeting Monday, city manager Joe Pennachetti was asked if there will be written assurances that Toronto taxpayers won't be stuck with huge bills after what Toronto police are calling "the biggest security event that Canada has ever undertaken."
Councillors had noted that Quebec City and Pittsburgh have been left with millions in costs associated with summits there and are still negotiating with senior governments for compensation.
"We have been very clear with the federal government, for the past few weeks in our discussions, adamant that we have to be covered in terms of costs and told them that yes, we have heard about the Quebec situation, we've heard about Pittsburgh and we won't be treated in the same fashion," Pennachetti said.
Pennachetti said that, in verbal discussions, Ottawa has agreed to pay all of Toronto's costs except those for the purchase of capital items that the city will continue to use after the event is over.
He said the main such item is an upgrade of the radio system for police, fire and ambulance services that was in the works, but is now being fast-tracked.
When it came time to discuss dollar figures the city is facing, councillors went behind closed doors for the discussion.
The gathering of representatives of the richest economies in the world at the downtown Metro Convention Centre will follow a G8 meeting in Huntsville, Ont.
The debate continued Monday.