The Price of Protesting: Part 1.

It’s been revealed that the Harper government spent roughly $1 Billion on security to host the world for 7 days over the summer for the G8 and G20 summit. I may be brushing out old dirt from under the carpet here, but as far as I know we still don’t know where all that money went. A CBC Point of View News poll last week asked readers if they thought the cost was justified. Of over 2800 votes, 92.9 % said no. The outcome of this poll, while not surprising, is exceptional in its near unanimity. It occurs to me that sadly, polls like this mean little in affecting change. With the Conseratives wanting to scrap the long form census, they won’t be gathering or looking at official figures, let alone readers polls like this. The government has defended the expense citing the violent scenes in downtown Toronto as cause for the security measures. It is indeed sad that protestors (the majority of them peaceful) were to blame for the exorbitant security price tag. As the government is still being questioned over the huge sum, the prime minister has repeated the government’s position that “Canadians do not want a debate on this matter”. Read more: Judging from the CBC news pole page, I can see almost 3000 people in the general public hungry for a debate, and I don’t think I’d be wrong in estimating that there are thousands more, as the full cost of the proceedings are unveiled and comparisons drawn from previous summits. (G20 summit London, April 2009: $30 million. G20 summit Pittsburgh, September 2009: $18 million US).

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One thought on “The Price of Protesting: Part 1.”

  1. It isn’t just the price tag that’s the issue. The curtailment of the right to protest and the arbitrary detentions are a threat to the democratic principles and enshrined charter rights of Canadians.

    Questions about who gave the orders have gone unanswered, with a huge amount of buck-passing and a lot of obfuscation being the order of the day. Given Harper’s control issues and history of micro-management though, it would be unreasonable to accept that the PMO wasn’t directly involved in a decision making process that saw so many innocent protesters arrested while a tiny minority of vandals were allowed to run rampant.

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