The end of the G8/G20 clustersummit may be a good time for a little overview of the record of the Harper Party. Some critics have whined that they’re too cheap to fund community events. Clearly wrong. They backed Police Pride Week to the hilt; in fact it probably couldn’t have been held without the very generous level of federal funding it received. And it isn’t true that Conservatives are indifferent to the arts. They obviously love Security Theatre. Which, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, really is a spectacle: the packs of cops on bikes, the dozens detailed to guard street corners and the columns of fully equipped riot police would impress anybody. It’s just too bad that the view was reserved for Torontonians only and that this couldn’t have been done in every city and town in this great country. But maybe one day it will.
Some people say that the Tories hate Toronto. But then why would they attract world leaders here, to show them the Harbour Castle Westin and our wonderful Convention Centre, as well as to put on such a great show for all the local folks? Who loved it by the way; they were out with their cell phone cameras recording every minute. And this for a community which never votes Tory. So much for the canard that the Conservatives are a partisan mob who only reward their supporters.
Now there are those who say that these summits don’t accomplish anything, but this also misses the mark. The G20 accomplished a lot: it addressed our smog problem by shutting down the city for the better part of a week, it made people get out and get some exercise by closing the transit system on Saturday, it gave them a chance to save instead of foolishly running up more credit card debt in bars and restaurants, and it implemented a “shovel-ready” stimulus package for local glaziers. AND . . . And it produced a final communique urging all member nations to stabilize their debt-to-GDP by 2016, just 6 short years from now. Which they absolutely will do. Unless they don’t.
And so on to South Korea, the next victim … er, deserving recipient of this great honour, where in just 6 months the leaders will be able to revise the definitive long-term course they just agreed to. Wonderful. (And as a final tip, there’s a view that Korean riot police play pretty hard, so some of the Black Bloc might want to give a thought to not reboarding at the rest stop in Hawaii and maybe spending the weekend surfing instead. . .)