(ATR) A leaked U.S. government memo from the Vancouver consulate expressed worries that Olympic security would be compromised by the recession and police overtime cutbacks.
RCMP officers patrol Whistler Olympic Village. (Getty Images)
Dated Feb. 12, 2009 -- one year before the Vancouver Olympics opened -- the memo from Consul General Phillip Chicola says Royal Canadian Mounted Police resources were diverted from drug investigations to the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit.
The RCMP denied Tuesday that they stopped investigating drug crimes during the Games.
The memo, obtained by WikiLeaks and published by The Guardian, shows the U.S. was concerned over the Games security budget. An announcement that the budget was increased from $175 million to $900 million happened a week after the memo and coincided with U.S. president Barack Obama's Feb. 19 state visit to Ottawa.
The memo deals at length with the financing controversy at the Vancouver Olympic Village and how it caused a power-shift at Vancouver city hall. It said VANOC executive vice-president of government relations David Guscott told U.S. officials the project would be completed on time.
“In VANOC's view the project has been caught in an unfortunate cross between municipal elections and the downturn in the economy," the cable reads, "with the financial problems severely overblown."
The Supreme Court of British Columbia appointed a receiver last month because of Millennium's $740 million debt.
The memo noted Obama's popularity in Canada and hopes that he would visit the Games. Vice president Joe Biden, however, was sent to head the U.S. delegation at the Feb. 12 opening ceremony.
The cable is the latest in a string of Olympics-related leaks but the first dealing with a Winter Games.
To read the entire cable, click here
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With reporting from Bob Mackin in Vancouver.
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