No this is not a breakdown of the cost of the G8/G20 summits taking place in Huntsville and The Big Smoke this year. This is my analysis of the whole “G8/G20 Cost” debate.
Question: Did it need to be over a Billion dollars?
OfficiallyScrewed.com Answer: It wasn’t over a billion dollars. Sure, maybe it was earmarked as G8/G20 spending but realistically it is also a chance for the government to beef up permanent security needs for a major urban area. ex. London, England already had 10,254 security cameras scattered around the city when they held the summit. The Big Smoke did not. So realistically all permanent infrastructure that will be in place for the benefit of Muskoka and The Big Smoke should really be eliminated from the bottom line when analyzing the cost. And I am pretty sure that over half the cost can be assigned to this category. So in effect it becomes stimulus money for the local economy.
And speaking of the local economy, I wonder what The Big Smoke tourism board thinks of all this. With some entourages numbering in the 4 digit area, we can safely assume over 10,000 guests to The Big Smoke. That’s a hell of a lot of hotel rooms and meals. And think of the shops in Yorkville or along Queen St. The VISA and Mastercard machines will be humming and alot of this spending will be subject to GST and PST reducing the total cost even further.
Question: Will jobs be created out of this?
OfficiallyScrewed.com Answer: Damn straight. Security alone will be huge but there will also be paramedics, fire, police, food services, waste disposal, preparation, (and yes Nellie, even the arts get some money. (Do you think some suit put together the fake lake? No, I bet it was some artsy fartsy person taking their turn at the trough too.) I am not sure about how many jobs are being created even temporarily but I can be sure that the paychecks for those jobs are subject to……ding ding ding…federal and provincial income tax further reducing the cost.
Question: Will we come out ahead?
OfficiallyScrewed.com Answer: Probably not. But there is other inherent values to hosting the G8/G20. Long term tourism dollars are the least of my concern. You see in the old days in many countries a group of three people meeting could be considered conspiracy and you could be charged. The paranoia ran deep in governments but it was also a symbol to them that the few at the top controlled everything. This is not the case in a western style democracy. Perhaps from a mile high view this is the case but realistically if taxes go up, jobs go down, that government will get tossed out on it’s ear.
So to me, having these nations get around a table and talk is important. It shows leaders like Ahmedinejad and Chavez, and groups like Hamas and Hizbollah and Al Quaeda that we can sit and talk peacefully about how we should best address problems the world is having so we can all best move forward wherever our free will takes us. We do NOT need to be pushed back in the shadows to meet under cover of the night or teleconference or in small groups. We can do it openly…under their noses and in front of their faces. And hopefully in front of the faces of their citizens too.
Because the bottom line is that as long as we are talking, we are not fighting.