The G20 leaders have left Toronto and now for the aftermath: recriminations and the blame game being played by all sides, diehard progressives demonstrating, demanding their absolute rights be inviolate, police accused of overly aggressive actions, police accused of not doing enough to protect public property, Premier Dalton McGuinty still hiding out—has anyone seen or heard from Michael Ignatieff?
Through it all, though, Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper emerge as winners.
Maternal health in poor countries gets a multi-billion dollar boost, from Canada’s contribution of an additional $1.1 billion to the effort over the next five years, bringing the Canada’s total commitment to $2.85 billion. Outside donors are providing another $2.3 billion to the G8 initiative. Not good enough for the progressives, though. Is it ever?
The much talked about “bank tax,” which is considered unfair to Canadian banks, has been avoided. And the excessive deficits and public debt run up by so many of the participants will be curbed and reduced—or, at least, promises have been secured to do so.
PM Harper signed an agreement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that allows for uranium exports to India and technological exchanges that could be worth billions to Canada’s nuclear industry.
Canada and the world are probably better off today than they were before the Summit. Canada’s international reputation is at a high-water mark for, at least, the past two decades.
But, wow, at a cost of well over $1 billion.
Could it/should it have been done for less? Sure it should. But the money was spent in Canada and will cycle through the economy and most cannot be considered wasted.
As to police action/inaction? I’ll have more to say on this later, but it seems clear to me we’ve lost our capacity to deal decisively and effectively with violent incidents in Ontario. It also seems evident that respect for law and order—including respect for our police forces—is regrettably lacking in too many residents of Toronto.
Many lessons to be learned here, but, of course, most will be ignored in our rush to blame and criticize. Rather than assess what we individually could have done better on the weekend, we’ll clog up the media and the courts with petty, at times, spurious claims and charges against the prime minister, the federal government, the City of Toronto and the several police forces on duty during the Summit.