Saturday, June 26, 2010

Will all G20 hell break lose today?

What’s happened to my country? That’s my question this morning when I read the Canadian Press headline: Fortress Toronto, a city on edge: Will all G20 hell break lose today? I’m a cradle Canadian and to see the images out of Toronto leaves me dumbfounded. We have spent billions of dollars on these three or four days and yesterday, as I watched some of the tin pot dictators from Africa arrive at the Toronto airport and read the story about the Saudi tribal chieftain set up at one of the hotels, I couldn’t help but ask – why are we having this “party” in the first place? I know maternal health care in the developing world is an issue, but if the most that comes out of this meeting is that Canada is contributing 7/8ths of the money to be spent on maternal health care in Africa, then these meetings have been an extraordinary waste on a colossal scale that I can’t even begin to comprehend. We could have sent Harper to Zimbabwe for a photo op with Mugabe.

Now, today, people in Toronto are worried that their city is going to suffer massive damage at the hands of roving bands of thugs who call themselves anarchists. They blend into the crowd, put on masks and then get their 15-minutes when they throw rocks and petrol bombs. And who knows who they are? Terrorists from extreme Islamist groups, Quebec police in disguise or just your local garden variety jerk still pissed about the spanking his mother gave him 15 years ago?

Is Steve Harper so out of touch with reality that he somehow feels that this bullshit will enhance his stature somewhere in the world? Is his self-esteem in need of such boosting that he will go to any cost to have the “family photo” in this country? Does anyone believe that this whole thing will make any difference – except maybe for the fencing contractor that got the job in Toronto and the Toronto police who got to buy those new sound cannons, the audio equivalent of the killer stun guns.

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