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  • Canada spending even more than Japan this time on G8/G20 summits. However, controversy ensues.

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on June 22nd, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  Let’s see how a vetting media works.  Investigating journalists uncover money being wasted and tell the public about it.  Few apparent fears in the domestic media about spoiling the party for our international guests.  And no apparent trampling on civil liberties.

    Should happen in Japan too, as we have freedom of the press.  But no, check out what happened the last two times Japan hosted G8 Summits (here and here).

    I think it’s about time we stopped this corrupt nonsense in the guise of international summetry.  It’s like holding an Olympics every year in a sparkling new venue, except nobody can attend but government elites.  Pigs at the trough.  Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    /////////////////////////////////////////

    Canadian summitry
    A loonie boondoggle
    Ostentation in a time of austerity
    Jun 17th 2010 | OTTAWA

    http://www.economist.com/node/16377317

    FOR all his gifts as a political tactician, Stephen Harper, Canada’s Conservative prime minister, may have miscalculated how much Canadians want to pay to host the G8 and G20 summits from June 25th to 27th. As the government struggles to close a large budget deficit, it is spending C$1.2 billion ($1.2 billion) to host the world’s leaders—60% more than Japan, the previous record holder, coughed up for the G8 gathering in Okinawa in 2000.

    Mr Harper points out that Canada is holding back-to-back summits—doubling the cost, he says. The government also notes that it can hardly be blamed for providing airtight security. It has built a steel fence around the woodland cottage resort at Muskoka that will receive the G8, and deployed special forces on overtime to lurk in the water and surrounding forest.

    But critics counter that Mr Harper could have saved money by inviting the G20 to Muskoka as well, rather than receiving them separately in Toronto, 200 km (125 miles) to the south. Moreover, they note that much of the budget has gone on items of dubious utility and taste. The prime minister has become the butt of jokes for commissioning an artificial lake, complete with mock canoes and recordings of the call of the loon, for the G20 summit’s media centre—which sits just yards from the real Lake Ontario. In Muskoka taxpayers are on the hook for a refurbished steamboat that won’t even float until the summit is over, and new outdoor toilets 20km from the meeting site. So much for small government.

    ENDS

    /////////////////////////////////////////////

    Auditor ready to look at G20 security tab
    Sun May 30, 9:45 PM
    By The Canadian Press, Courtesy of MMT

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100530/national/g20_security_audit

    OTTAWA – Auditor General Sheila Fraser is ready to look at the huge security costs for the G8 and G20 summit meetings next month.

    ”Once the events have occurred and the spending has occurred we can look to see if it was done appropriately,” she told CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

    The billion-dollar tab for security prompted angry clashes in the House of Commons last week, with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews staunchly defending the costs.

    ”It certainly seems like a lot of money,” Fraser said. ”I think we have to understand better what is it for.”

    She said the audit would be routine.

    ”Given the amount of spending, it is something that we would normally look at in our financial work,” she said.

    ”I would expect that there are a lot of people involved in this,” she said. ”The costs of housing and overtime and equipment I’m sure are going to be substantial.

    ”We would have to look at what planning has gone on and was the spending really just for these events or not.”

    Toews says he’s fine with an audit.

    The G8 is slated for Huntsville, Ont. June 25-26 followed immediately by the G20 in Toronto.

    Fraser also said she hasn’t heard formally that MPs and senators have changed their minds about letting her audit the half-billion parliamentary budget.

    ”I’ve had no communication from them since their letter indicating that they were refusing our request.”

    The politicians, though, are saying she’s welcome to come in for an audit. They changed their tune after the public reacted angrily to the news they had turned down Fraser’s request to look at Parliament’s annual half-billion-dollar budget.

    Fraser says if she does get a formal invitation, she won’t focus on the expenses of individual MPs and senators.

    ”What we had proposed was never an audit of MP expenses alone,” she said. ”That would have been part of a financial management audit, but we would also look potentially at issues like human resource management or security on the Hill, contracting, those sort of broader management issues.”

    Her auditors would be more interested in procedures and policies.

    ”We would look to see what kind of rules and procedures and controls are in place,” she said.

    ”We would expect the House of Commons and the Senator to have good policies and procedures, that they be comprehensive and that they be communicated well. If that is the case, we would do spot checks to make sure that those policies are actually being followed.”

    She said such an audit normally takes about a year, so if the invitation comes soon, she could have a report by the middle of 2011.

    ENDS

    11 Responses to “Canada spending even more than Japan this time on G8/G20 summits. However, controversy ensues.”

    1. Alex Says:

      They should have both of them in Muskoka. Muskoka is the picture perfect example of the sort of place we want tourists to think of when they think of especially eastern Canada.

      Why would we want to hold international gatherings in cities that have garbage strikes that last several months at a time. Toronto is mess on many levels and it would only be an opportunity for the world to reaffirm that fact.

      Have it in Muskoka and suddenly people think of the natural beauty of the great north.

      My 2 cents.

    2. D.B. Cooper Says:

      The only ways to stop these disgusting displays of arrogance are by mass direct action and organising to eventually make governments irrelavant. Hopefully the people in Toronto will put up more resistance to this circus than we did in Hokkaido.

      Newswires: G8 Summits. Various articles including..
      No One Is Illegal at the G8/G20 Mobilizations in Toronto.
      Global Union Federations Demand New Priorities from G8, G20 Summits.
      Fortress G8: The G8 Summit in Kananaskis 2002.
      G20 police arsenal includes plastic bullets.
      Their Crisis, Our Misery: OCAP(Ontario Coalition Against Poverty)Versus the G20
      http://www.wombles.org.uk/article2008011501.php

      The Group of 8 Leaders and the Group of 20 Leaders are meeting in Ontario from June 25-27, 2010. Toronto-based organizations of women, people of colour, indigenous peoples, the poor, the working class, queer and trans people and disabled people are organizing a people’s convergence.
      http://g20.torontomobilize.org/

    3. James Says:

      What caused these high costs? IMO It’s not the leaders coming together with all levels of support staff, to “Take Council Together for the Nations of the World” that is only a few million dollars. It is the industry of protest for protest sake that puts 20,000 or 30,000 anarchists gathering together from all over the world or Europe for the sole sake of making havoc, see Germany 3? years ago. and all the resulting security fears(real and unfounded(Hokkaido)). I want progress to be made in many things that require high levels of co-operation between governments. But democratic governments and leaders cannot go where there is no consensus from their citizens and politicians. I am afraid that in far too many cases progress is ruined because the chaos that gets reported by the media back home destroys the support base for
      what little progress is made.
      I think it is time to end these summits and meet by secure and private tele-conferencing.

      DB Cooper calls above for action to make governments irrelevant: I ask to be replaced by what? How does he or she expect progress to be made on things like global warming or human trafficking. I call for governments to become more relevant and more effective, to be given the time to meet together to work toward the “Common Good” and for massive informed public scrutiny of their every action. Far too often the protesters are the international equivalent of the right wing sound trucks destroying what progress is made by both ngo’s meeting to focus attention on the summits and the summits themselves. Which of course is their very purpose.

      James

    4. Colin Says:

      James,

      Good point. However, governments have had countless opportunities, endless amounts of cash and decades of time to sort out obvious and shameful problems in this world. And what? The same old “powerhouse meetings” one more time that most people can`t or won`t even remember because they are inundated with their everyday responsibilities and worries is gathering to chat over the finest food, drinks, and accomodations. They wouldn`t need so much security if they weren`t disliked so much. They are disliked for the exact reasons the protesters are protesting. There needs to be a mass world protest for these people to get the hint. Their leadership is humorous at best.

    5. Meat67 Says:

      @James

      The reason that people from all over the world come to protest is because leaders from all over the world come. In many so-called democracies the only thing the government wants people to do is vote for the corporate approved candidate and then shut the hell up. There is a lot more to democracy than that. If government doesn’t listen to you, then taking to the streets to protest is a legitimate response.

      Blaming the protesters for the over spending by the government is a little insulting as well.
      Here is an example from 2007 of how that “security” money is spent. The police send in undercover agents to try to incite a riot.

      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/08/23/police-montebello.html?ref=rss

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St1-WTc1kow&feature=related

    6. D.B. Cooper Says:

      To answer some points from the above post. The high cost of security expenditure is needed for these so called ‘leaders’ because they are universally loathed by all right thinking people. These ‘leaders’ are the mouth pieces of the global gangster business empire that has squandered precious resources and is bringing us dangerously close to total destruction. These are the ‘leaders’ who allow acts of terrible injustice to go unpunished and who have overseen the grossly unfair distribution of the world’s wealth. During the time they are gorging on fancy food at this meeting of the mutual admiration society, thousands will die of hunger and preventable diseases.

      There is no industry of protest for protest sake. The people who demonstrate risk life (Blair Peach) and limb, plus fines and prison often on trumped up charges. These people are exercising their rights and participating in direct action and forms of democracy. Not the kind of rights and democracy governments approve of. There is however an industry of security which involves all kinds of sinister government agencies that get bolder by the summit. I have no doubt that a lot of gathered information will be used against citizens of the host country long after the summit has ended. They may have the guns but we have the numbers although 20~30,000 anarchists at a protest might be a high estimate. The protest groups are wide ranging, the 2008 G8 Summit N.G.O. Forum comprised 141 organisations. I think there is enough secrecy and double dealing amongst these ‘leaders’ in supposedly open and ‘democratic’ societies without giving them secure and private tele-conferencing facilities.

      No progress can be made on things like global warming or human trafficking because each of these ‘leaders’ is playing to his/her own constituency. Big business also frowns on any deals that will cut into its profits and will sway the decisions of ‘leaders” with threats or promises. The way around this is for people to organise and make others aware of the issues. If governments won’t put a limit on C02 emissions, do it yourself. Don’t drive, don’t fly, don’t waste electricity or resources. Use your money as a weapon of protest and boycott companies who indulge in bad practices. Most people know what they have do, they don’t need governments to tell them. As for human trafficking this needs the involvement of local communities, not tougher border controls or police powers of harassment.

      Our real enemy is government trying to control and restrict our basic human instincts that are freedom, creativity, solidarity and mutual aid. A system(s) combining these qualities will eventually replace governments that now serve only privilege and power.

      The final thing is the narrowness and sycophantic reporting of these events. The success of government propaganda filtered through the ‘free press’ can be clearly seen. The arrival of the ‘black bloc’ fills many people with such fear and loathing but ranks of heavily armed and armoured, taxpayer financed government goons barely raises an eyebrow. Bypass the mainstream media and get the story from real people on the street..

      G20 and G8 Summit Protest Reporting links here..
      Toronto Media Co-Op
      http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/
      G20 Alt.Media Centre
      http://2010.mediacoop.ca/

    7. Meat67 Says:

      Unfortunately, Debito, your statement about “…no apparent trampling on civil liberties.” was a bit premature. The government passed a law greatly expanding police powers of search and seizure during the summit but didn’t let people know about it until after they started arresting people for breaking the new rules. Sigh.

      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/06/25/g20-new-powers.html

      http://www.cbc.ca/canada/g20streetlevel/2010/06/secret-documents-and-what-they-mean-for-democracy.html

    8. Meat67 Says:

      The Toronto police cheif admits he lied and just made up the law so they could detain people.

      http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/80120–police-chief-bill-blair-admits-there-was-no-five-metre-rule-regarding-g20-fence

      My only question is, “When will they put him in jail?”, but I’m not holding my breath.

    9. D.B. Cooper Says:

      June 2010 brought thousands upon thousands of dedicated activists to the streets of Toronto to protest and confront the G8/G20, as “world leaders” conspired to further destroy our communities and the world around us for the sake of power and profit.

      Not content with attacking people in the streets and arresting nearly 1100 protesters, the Canadian government also attacked the very ideas of community and organizing by arresting 17 prominent community organizers from around Canada and charging them with conspiracy. Those who have been released from jail face harsh bail conditions that prevent them from associating with people in their communities and from exercising their rights to organize and voice their dissent. This attempt at breaking solidarity amongst and with the accused must not and will not be successful.

      http://rnc8.org/2010/07/g8g20-they-few-we-many-solidarity-with-the-toronto-arrestees/

    10. D.B. Cooper Says:

      The G20 fiasco
      The G8/G20 meetings were held this year in Toronto (26-27 June), hosted by Canada’s neo-conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper and his police regime set all kinds of summit records – most money spent on security (over a billion dollars – more than five times any other summit), most arrests of protesters (over 1,000 – mostly for just daring to show up.) Ironically, Harper’s great ‘achievement’ at the summit was a scarcely credible agreement to get other governments to cut spending. Maybe next time skyping would be a more cost effective way to meet. Below are the experiences of Jeff Carolin, a legal aid worker caught in the Harper dragnet.

      http://www.newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2010/07/07/g20-fiasco/?utm_source=message&utm_medium=ni-email&utm_campaign=intl-enews-2010-07b

    11. D.B. Cooper Says:

      The costs for the last G8/G20 event in Toronto are so outrageous, that you’d think they were joking. If only they were. The final tab ran over $1.25 billion.

      http://dailycensored.com/2010/09/27/the-outrageous-g8g20-costs/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Dailycensored+%28Daily+Censored%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail

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