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Ontario's McGuinty balks at G20 security price tag

Mayor David Miller, right, and Premier Dalton McGuinty attend an event Monday on Parliament Street to honour the memory of journalist and social activist June Callwood.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is balking at the $1.2-billion price tag on security for the upcoming G8 and G20 summits of world leaders.

He says a billion dollars is a lot of money and everyone should work together to figure out a way to minimize the interference security measures will have in Toronto, where the G20 summit is being held.

Mr. McGuinty says most people agree that Canada should act as host occasionally, but it must find a way to do it that's less costly.

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Otherwise, he says it will be hard for any country to play host to the summit.

Federal ministers argue that the costs are necessary to ensure the summits are secure, pointing out this is the first time a country has been host to two summits back to back.

The Opposition federal Liberals say the costs are exorbitant and an example of incompetence and mismanagement.

The G8 summit runs June 25-26 in Huntsville and the G20 runs June 26-27.

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