Monday, June 21, 2010

G20 hosting benefits us...how?

So, the leaders of the 20 richest nations on the globe converge on Toronto this coming weekend, after the "in crowd" huddle up at the G8 summit in Huntsville.

I've heard both sides of the story here: Canada does benefit from being a partner in these privileged ranks, for now. Our way of life is guaranteed to be above average because of economic unions like these. Conversely, globalization is a worrisome phenomenon. All that wealth, power, and information in the hands of one entity should be a concern. Two mantras come to mind here; the cream always rises to the top; and absolute power/wealth corrupts absolutely.

Feel free to think how you want to about this issue, because either way, you're right. None of this, however, has stirred me to write this post.

My concern is that we have been told that this will be a tremendous economic boon for the city of Toronto, the province of Ontario, and Canada overall. I sincerely fail to see how this is so.
While the city of Huntsville will likely reap the rewards of having many high profile guests and media attention, I don't believe this will happen in Toronto.

A large chunk of the downtown core will be completely off-limits for the duration of the summit, including the Rogers Centre, the Air Canada Centre, Union Station, the CN Tower, Harbourfront, and swathes of the entertainment district and the financial district. The area being cordoned off is at least 20 times greater than the area actually needed for the summit.

Thousands of commuters will have to make provisions to work around this blockade, and they are the lucky ones. Many businesses will be shut down completely, and many more employees will have to miss a week of work or so to accomodate this intrusion.

Will these businesses be re-imbursed the losses they will incur for shutting down for this length of time? We're talking prime real estate here folks. Rent isn't cheap, and it's always due. This is prime time for businesses too. Some of these venues, like the Rogers Centre and Harbourfront don't make a whole lot of money in the winter. If they are being reimbursed, by who? By the government? How is that a positive for us economically?

What about the people being kept away from their livelihoods? Are they going to be reimbursed as well? How can we afford to pay people to stay home? How will the greater part of them survive without their pay if we don't?

And 1.3 billion dollars to keep this area secure? Way more spent than at the Olympics, and for way less time and fewer people to protect, albeit, more important people. This is the biggest fiasco I have ever witnessed!

It seems to be that the only people who will benefit from this whole ordeal are the Police/Army/CSIS/FBI/Secret Service/Security personnel, and the people who will feed and lodge them. They should have left this all to Huntsville, where it would have been cheaper and more beneficial to the city. I want to know how all this is being paid for!

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