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.
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!