Friday, June 18, 2010

What would you do with $1.9 million?

Apparently, if you're the Canadian government, you build a fake lake.

While it's just a drop in the bucket when compared to the total budget for hosting the G20 summit this month, the construction of the indoor "lake" as an effort to impress visiting journalists and increase tourism is just too preposterous to ignore.

Did I mention this construction is happening a stone's throw from an ACTUAL lake?

Evidently, it is a project that few will get a firsthand look at as the security surrounding the summit promises to be more elaborate than anything seen in the country to date.

The government has made damn sure to let protesters know they are not welcome, putting out warnings early on that security forces will be equipped with not only the usual gear, but sound cannons, which they will not hesitate to use to subdue a crowd deemed unruly, damaging the hearing of demonstrators in the process.

While I understand that of course there needs to be some level of security, I find the whole thing ugly and threatening, with the attitude the government has taken, immediately setting protesters and police up for confrontation. Nothing like a good dose of fear to ensure things get hysterical.

These issues have got me thinking about whether or not these vastly expensive, security heavy international meetings are even necessary, fake lakes notwithstanding.

With such a range of "skype-like" technology, is it even responsible and/or necessary for world leaders to be jet setting around the world to discuss economic issues, when they could surely set up an online conference at a fraction of the (environmental and financial)cost?

*Also, for anyone who is interested in these issues (or even if you aren't) and has not seen the movie, The Girl in the Cafe, I can't recommend it enough. Be sure to let me know if you watch it and what you think!

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