This Canadian Taxpayer's View

Contrary to what the media have been reporting many Canadians think...I am happy about hosting the G8 and G20 meetings.

Yes its insanely expensive but...

...I want our city protected from paint tossing, window breaking, explosives hoarding gun toting hooligans - the so called "protesters" as distinct from "actual protesters". This latter group would be the ones with signs and chants and bull horns expressing opinions of protest. Expression of a contrary point of view does not necessitate throwing things, damaging property or hurting anyone. Anyone who can stand up to publicly state an opinion doesn't need a face mask to do it!

...I don't see the difference between "stimulus" spending like we have going on fixing roads and the like and paying police from across the country to work together on Summit security while the leaders are visiting. What is the difference? Construction workers or cops, they will all presumably spend their earnings back in their local communities and in so doing, "stimulate" their local economies.

And talk about an initiative supporting national unity! I heard one officer from the far north comment that she had no idea Toronto was a multicultural city!! The members of the security forces will go home with more than just stimulus spending in their pockets. They'll have a better understanding of their country and their countrymen and bring a more experienced and worldly approach to the work they do in their own communities after working together to protect this national endeavour on the world stage.

Then there's the suggestion that the downtown core of the biggest and busiest city in the country isn't the place to host a Summit. I think it is! Across the world, many think of Canada as nothing more than a collection of mountainous, snowy expanses - the imagery we saw during the Olympics.  We are a whole lot more than that folks and this exercise demonstrates it!

  • Do I wish the price tag for all this was lower? Yup.
  • Do I suspect its easier for reporters to chase the above mentioned hooligans around than to cover the substantive issues being considered at a Summit and so in the world of 24/7 news, that's what they do? Yup.
  • Do I think attention starved petty criminals see the opportunity for a moment of fame in that media coverage and so feed the need for all this security? Yup.
  • Do I recognize that by assembling the world's most powerful leaders in one place incredible things can happen to the benefit of the planet? And that this kind of powerful assembly also brings out those who would be most destructive? Yup.
So this Canadian taxpayer is wincing at the cost but I'm nonetheless proud and hopeful important things will happen here in Canada over the next few days. Maybe people around the world will ultimately reference a "Toronto Protocol" as the beginning of a new and wonderful force in the world.

And I've got an idea...I think any" news" outlet that gives attention and so profile to Summit hooligans should pay a fee to contribute to the cost of security that the media, in part creates a need for in the first place. Think about it, what would be the fun in being a lawless troublemaker if you couldn't rush home and see if you made it the 11:00 news!

Anyway, that's my view on the Summit.

A knit free, opinionated post - I hope you're not sorry you dropped by today!


Sandra said...

total agreement. That said, we bailed on a dinner invite to friends downtown and are heading to the cottage instead...

Cathy said...

What a refreshingly healthy (and holistic!) perspective on taxation -- not only with regard to the cost of hosting the G8 and G20 meetings, but in general. I wish the U.S. had a more mature attitude toward taxation.

Brenda said...

We have so much in common. We both store our baking supplies in glass jars and we both agree on the G8/G20. To add a bit - I think it is important for people to have the opportunity to peacefully protest - the summits give them that. It is easier to make great things happen on our planet when you have had a face to face meeting with your counterpart on the other side of the world. Much work has been provided for Ontarians because of the summit and if we can afford to spend millions to watch an athlete spend 42 seconds coming down a hill with bumps, isn't this equally important? Thanks for the well-thought out view.

Anne Campbell said...

Thanks for giving us such an interesting and rational description of your point of view. I completely agree with what you say.

LaurieM said...

Not sorry at all! I read it out to my husband and we both heartily agree with you.

Lisa R-R said...

Well one great thing about Canada is that you can give your viewpoint freely, I don't have to agree, and neither of us will be detained over it.
Too bad the world leaders won't be here for the Canadian citizenship ceremony at Queen's Park on Canada day - that's my idea of how best to show off what's really special about Canada.
have a good week

Anonymous said...

AMEN to that, Cathy!!! I live in the U.S. myself. :-)