International Media Takes Note Of 'Billion Dollar Boondoggle' For G8/G20 Summit
"Many Canadians have been cringing at the ballooning $1.1bn (US$1.1bn; £730m) bill to host this week's G8 and G20 summits.
While a staggering 90% of the summits' budget is for security, it is a "fake lake" which has come to symbolise what many critics see as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's extravagant spending. The temporary water feature is intended to impress the 3,000-strong contingent of journalists who will be housed at a $2m international media centre in Toronto. The display - which promises a shallow pool, a deck, deckchairs and canoes - is intended to promote the Muskoka region, the picturesque lakeland setting north of Toronto where the G8 leaders will meet. The G20 summit will be held in Toronto after the G8. Ironically, the "fake lake" is just a stone's throw from the real thing - Lake Ontario, one of the world's biggest lakes.
"Hosting the G8 and G20 summits will cost Canada around 770 million euros, and while journalists may enjoy reclining around an artificial lake and getting a taste of Canada in a costly media centre, the Canadian public is far from impressed…"
Cartoon by kind permission of
Graeme MacKay at mackaycartoons.net