Banff appears unlikely to get federal government funding to help with emergency plans for the G8 Environment Ministers' meeting in Banff next week.
The Town of Banff has asked the Solicitor General of Canada to pony up $281,622 to help with the municipality's emergency preparedness for the April 12-14 meeting.
The federal government has indicated it will pick up security costs, such as extra RCMP over the weekend, however the Town has had no response on whether emergency preparedness costs, such as a full-time fire crew, will be covered.
"It's extremely remote we will be designated and therefore extremely remote we will receive funding for anything at all with respect to the Environment Ministers' meeting,'' said Sheila Luey, the Town's Communications Manager.
Despite no extra funding, Town officials say public safety and security of Banff's facilities remains the top priority.
"Nothing's changed in terms of our priorities. Public safety and protection of the town will be everyone's priority and we'll do our best to deliver on that,'' said Luey.
Mayor Dennis Shuler said he could not discuss next steps on funding alternatives because nothing has been finalized and he does not want to threaten any security plans.
"We have a plan, we're working on it, but we're not in a position to discuss it.''
The Town of Banff estimates a total of $281,622 is needed for the municipality to be fully prepared for the meeting, including $10,200 for 24-hour on-duty fire crews and $147,522 for hospital and ambulance staff and equipment.
Other estimated municipal costs include $35,000 for infrastructure security, $45,275 for municipal staff call-outs and $43,625 for any additional materials and training.
Meanwhile, the Town of Banff is also expecting a draft agreement this week surrounding federal government assistance for the G8 Summit in Kananaskis Country.
The Town of Canmore signed its agreement with the federal government last weekend for $485,000,
Last November the Town put forward a proposal for funding for about $600,000 to cover emergency preparedness for a three-week period surrounding the June 26 and 27 Summit.
Director of Community Services Robert Ellis said the Town scaled down that request about a month ago to a 10-day period, and the amount approved was exactly what had been formally submitted.
Chief Administrative Officer Bert Dyck said the money will be paid on an invoicing basis.
The money will be used for extra shifts of firefighters and police, and extra shifts of hospital staff throughout that 10 days. All leave and holidays have been cancelled for those staff throughout that period.
About $80,000 has been allocated to the hospital to train staff for the "higher state of preparedness required," he said.
Dyck said he believed it was the first agreement of its kind between the federal government and a participating municipality, and he praised Ellis for having the foresight to prepare the emergency preparedness plan and apply for the money as early as he did.
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