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Canadian police broke Olympics cruise ship housing deal - U.S. judge

By Erin Geiger Smith

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge ruled Monday that a task force headed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police breached an agreement with a North Carolina-based cruise ship company that was to house government security forces during the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver.

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer of Washington, D.C., said the RCMP had agreed to pay all Canadian taxes imposed on Cruise Connections Charter Management and that its refusal to do so violated an agreement between the two.

Though the parties had made certain agreements, a final contract between the RCMP and Cruise Connections Charter Management was never signed, according to the opinion.

The discussions involved the use of cruise ships to be docked at Vancouver's Ballentyne Pier.

Cruise Connections sued the RCMP, as well as the Canadian government, in November 2008, 10 days after the force purported to terminate a contract between the two.

The cruise ship company argued in court documents that the RCMP breached its obligations when it declared it would not pay about $6 million in Canadian government taxes that might be assessed against the cruise line.

Collyer's opinion did not determine how much the RCMP owes Cruise Connections, but said the court would in October set a trial date to determine damages.

The case is Cruise Connections Charter Management v. Attorney General of Canada, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 08-2054.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

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