G8/G20 spending shows contempt for taxpayer
In June the editorial board commented on the G20 security crackdown calling for a public review. The issue has re-emerged lately with the release of detailed costs for one quarter of the money spent on the combined G8 and G20 summits.
Suffice it to say what was found was not impressive. Even before the release of the numbers it was clear to most where the government had erred. Originally both summits were to be hosted in Huntsville, but the government failed in the early stages to determine that the town, in fact, did not have the infrastructure to host the G20.
Tony Clement had to have his pork barrel buffet though, so the G8 stayed and the G20 was moved to downtown Toronto, a security nightmare, increasing the costs exponentially.
Due to the two summit locations there are an estimated $200 million in cost duplications. For example, the building of two security fences at a cost of $4 million each. Additionally, reports came out of lavish spending to spruce up Tony Clement’s riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka, including, among other projects, renovations to the North Bay Airport which was never used and public washrooms and gazebos many kilometres away from the convention site.
In this context the recent report is hardly a surprise. Some of the highlights include $14,000 spent on glow sticks, more than $300,000 for sunscreen and insect repellent and $85,000 for snacks at the hotels. Even more disturbing is prominence of sole source contracting.
Again, the Conservative government shows its contempt for the taxpayer with lavish spending and the bill will be footed by young people for years in the future.