Canadians are aghast at revelations the government is splurging more than a billion dollars hosting the G8 and G20 summits for three days. While most goes on security and of course flowers, there's also cash for a fake lake
Forgive me, but I thought the world was in a bit of a squeeze when it came to financial largesse, and that the requisite austerity measures many countries are grappling with to stave off bankruptcy were the focus of global financial gurus.
Not so when it comes to that exclusive band of brothers known as the ‘Gs’…the mighty G8 and its forced company G20. They all arrive in
For weeks, since the cost of the summits was forced out of the government, Canadians have been aghast at the thought of the slashing and burning to cope with the country’s record $50 billion plus deficit, only to find their fiscally prudent elected representatives seem not to bat an eyelid when it comes to the cost of fêting the ever so important Gs – no strings attached.
Added to that genuine horror is the latest revelation that while the G8ers will be in what
Some would say a lucky reprieve to be in the city rather than fighting the black flies that seem to infest dear old cottage country just when it is warm enough to ditch the thermals. Yet the government is so concerned about those G20s being confined to boring old big city Toronto it has splashed out (literally) another $2m to provide a cottage country experience, complete with a fake lake, Muskoka chairs, a dock, audio of the nation’s iconic loon bird, and of course the peaceful sound of water lapping – as it does in a large and expensive swimming pool.
Bear in mind this is a country that has more lakes than almost any other in the world, and not only that, the fourth largest lake on the planet – the great Lake Ontario – will be 500m from its country fake.
Not surprisingly, the Harper administration has been scrambling this week to justify in Parliament the ‘thinking’ (for want of a better word), and the spending on this. After all, the fake lake with its associated necessities to make it a complete marketing project, will be drained after three days. I would hope any self-respecting TV journo would give the old fake backdrop a wide berth when it comes to the venue-anchoring stand-ups that are apparently the trigger behind its design.
It is to be hoped this billion dollar boondoggle courtesy of
Quite simply such binges cannot be justified for a few hours of meetings. No wonder some of these ministers, leaders and bureaucrats develop a sense of self importance. Most of the expenditure will be on security measures including an enormous fence which will keep the ‘important’ people in and the locals, general riff-raff and of course protesters out. Or so goes the theory.
Many locals will require passes to come and go to their homes or cottages and have been warned it will be up to police discretion as to who is allowed through. On the bright side a couple I know are mighty pleased with the sudden upgrade in roads and communication services to their wilderness retreat.
Well, the shelling out has to stop somewhere now doesn’t it? As for those with businesses inside the ‘zone’, there will be no recompense for lost revenue. This is not a charity, you understand.
So as for the agenda… it will be heavily focused on
Come June 28 when the Gs wind up, what will
Probably very little – surprise, surprise.
It has already succeeded in convincing enough countries to reject an American-led initiative for a global bank tax with a rather persuasive argument that, put simply, was: Why should a country like Canada, whose banks did not fail, be forced to shell out into a global slush fund to compensate banks who go belly up in the future?. Difficult to argue with that.
Will a tumble in
Is it global government? Of course it is, the irony being it is about to happen in a country dubbed the darling of the international financial world precisely because it did not go along with the lemming-like behaviour of global financial regulators.
That does not mean it has such a shiny halo it can be excused from going on such an impression spending spree. Harper and Co. need to realize that it is just plain wrong. His ministers may insist that their fake lake is really a reflecting pool (no kidding, they do), and while they are at it could take a little time to reflect on the folly of such a gross overspend as a backdrop to lectures on austerity. Fat chance.