Blog Archives

G8/G20 Summits

Other than the people renting their downtown condos at lucrative prices (that work out to $50/HOUR and up), I don’t know of anyone who’s happy about the G20 being hosted in Toronto. The inconvenience of the security, plus the social outrage at the nearly $1B cost of it all (the media have reminded us that the economy is still struggling its way up) – it’s just fuel to the fire of protest.

But I think given the circumstances, spending truckloads of money on security is money well spent. As bad as it is, I’m sure everyone would agree that the absolute worst thing that could happen would be a serious security breach.  And even one problem would be embarrassing for Canada. (side note: I’m very curious as to what that would mean for our various levels of government, and even how the public would react, etc)
No, spending $1 billion is fine, given the circumstances.

But the circumstances should be different. For one, it’s all nice and well that they chose Toronto to host the G20, but they could have been a lot smarter than choosing the downtown core. I won’t be the first to suggest here that Exhibition Place would have been a lot easier to fence off, not to mention at significantly less disruption (fewer major streets closed) and less cost (fewer checkpoints).
And weren’t they just going to host both summits in Huntsville anyway?
And are the world leaders really going to go out and enjoy the city?  No, they’ll be shepherded from hotels to meetings and barely see the light of day.
So because of the government’s tremendous lack of foresight that led them to choose the convention centre, spending $1 billion on security is (sadly) a good move. Now if only two wrongs made a right…


Changing the Anthem

It seems that some woman complained to senior government about a line in “O Canada” for being sexist. The line is “in all thy sons command”. I can understand where she’s coming from, and it does help that they would actually be changing it to an older version, where they had some similar, gender-neutral line. Anyway, this got front-page attention in the newspaper, which I can again understand, but with a couple comments:

First, if they’re going to change the anthem, can they also change the line “God keep our land glorious and free”? Like many people in this day and age, I don’t believe in God, so this seems like a waste of breath to me. It could be “Let’s keep our land glorious and free”, even though I know Harper’s not pulling his weight on the environment or human empowerment fronts. How unpatriotic of him.

And speaking of Mr. Smug, don’t forget it was his government that decided to go to the media with this story, at the precise time that Parliament is finally getting back to work in Ottawa, having to address* all sorts of other real issues**, like the Afghanistan-torture problem that inspired Harper to prorogue in the first place. How very convenient.

* He won’t.
** I really hope the opposition parties remember them all.