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Cost of security at 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto jumps to $239M

A construction worker looks onto the site of the Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., in a Nov. 14, 2013 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett

Security costs for the 2015 Pan American Games in the Toronto area are on the rise.

The Ministry of Community Safety says a contract is now “almost in place” for private security services at next year’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Games across southern Ontario.

The Ministry says the estimated total costs for securing the Games will increase to approximately $239 million from the previous estimate of $206 million.

However, it cautions that security planning is ongoing and must respond to any specific threats that may be identified in the future.

The security bill is just a fraction of the nearly $900 million spent on security at the Vancouver Olympics, but officials say there is a lower risk profile at the Pan Am Games.

Ontario’s Liberal government is already under fire for not including the cost of building the athletes’ village in its original $1.4-billion budget for the games.

The total price, including security, transportation and the athletes’ village, will drive the cost of Toronto’s Pan Am Games to an estimated $2.5 billion.

The province hopes to recoup $65 million when the athletes’ housing is turned into 253 affordable rental apartments, an 8,000-square-foot YMCA and 500 residences for George Brown College students after the Games.