900 million bucks for security at a G20 conference! That seems like a lot of scratch to protect a bunch of suits?
The talking point of the last few days on every call in show, and nearly every political television program has been the cost of the G20 conference in Toronto.
The Liberal supporters have even gone as far as to call it Harper’s “Billion Dollar Boondoggle”.
Public sentiment when it comes to politicians is often pretty straightforward, we don’t like em, we don’t want to be inconvenienced by em, and we don’t want to spend money on em.
With that in mind even the original 160 million dollar budget would have been enough to annoy most Canadians.
Now we have watched the cost go from the budgeted 160 million to over 900 million (which for the sake of shock-value we can round up to a BILLION dollars, even though for some reason 900 million sounds worse, but what do I know?)
Why has the cost gone up?
My first guess would be that the firebombing of the RBC branch in Ottawa and targeting of civilians’ who happen to work for “evil” corporations may have raised the stakes a little bit,
The fact that the amount of protestors that are estimated to descend on the city of Toronto is around 10,000, to put that number into perspective there are 5,800 sworn in members of the Toronto Police.
Coupled with the fact that some of these Anarchist Groups have promised “militant” protests aimed to “humiliate the security apparatus” according to yesterday’s Toronto Star.
Let me be the first one to say that spending 900 million on anything that doesn’t play the Dallas Cowboy’s at least once a season is simply beyond me, but to attack the government for this is about as short sided as it gets.
Is the threat posed by these protestors real?
I believe it is; and going after a bank branch with a firebomb leads me to believe that these folks mean business.
So what is the correct response in the face of these threats?
The summit could have been canceled?
Maybe I am just old school, but bowing down to a vocal minority of protestors and giving into what they want generally breeds more of this sort of behavior.
If firebombing buildings and promising violence gets them their way just once, we open a door that we may never be able to close.
To me canceling the summit in the face of a bunch of whiney 20 something’s and some burnt out hippies is not an option, especially less then a month out.
Which leaves us with two choices:
We take all measures to adequately protect our guests,
or we don’t.
Those who are threatening violence are getting off far too easy in the media and amount angry Canadians.
The money that needs to be spent is because of the violence that has been promised, not because the government has decided to waste money on items that are not needed.
I would imagine that 99% of people think I am totally nuts in the fact that I am not foaming at the mouth over this money being spent,
However I am one of the few believers that the G20 has done some good work, and I am damn proud that we are on an international stage hosting 19 leaders of the world…even though it’s in Toronto…