26 May 2010

The billion-dollar meetings

Conservatives have whined incessantly about the billion-dollar gun registry, ignoring concerns from those Canadians who consider guns a threat to their security. But when it comes to putting on a show, it seems a billion dollars isn't such a big deal after all. They spent $898-million on the Olympic games for security and now they are about to spend $933-million for the G8 and G20 meetings. It almost seems they are more concerned about the security of strangers than about the security of Canadians.

Not that I think we shouldn't keep our visitors safe and sound and snug in their beds, but a billion dollars for two meetings? Are these guys, even collectively, worth that much? 

And what are we going to get for our billion? Workable regulation of the world economy? Serious attention to climate change? A just agreement in Palestine? Concrete measures to alleviate world poverty? If there is significant progress on any of these fronts, I will curb my criticism, but I am not optimistic. I doubt they will achieve anything that couldn't just as easily been negotiated by their flunkies at minimal taxpayer expense.

At this price, there is no way we should hold these meetings. Let's leave that to nations who are a lot more desperate for attention than we need to be.

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