Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G8/G20: Through it all Canada and Prime Minister Stephen Harper emerge as winners

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.

Oh, well…


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© 2010 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. people are pointing a few fingers at the cops, however all but the most left wing of society think that those kinds of accusations are a complete joke.

    i think the police handled things as well as they could have, including not jumping in to stop the vandelism on Saturday. if you've followed these G20 summits over the last few years, the more heavy handed the police are, the greater the public outcry and fallout is from trying to deter and detain the mob.

    We don't have to like reality, but the reality of that kind of situation is if you spray the Saturday mob with rubber bullets, drop a couple canisters of tear gas in the middle of the crowd and arrest everyone at the first sign of a broken window, you can quickly convert a lot of peaceful protesters to a group that feels it needs to physically defend itself (mob mentality since the beginning of time), and then you have a real mess on your hands. You only end up hurting the reputation of the police force far more than the cost of clean up.

    IMHO, all things considered, the mob got the best of the police on Saturday (and that was a conscience decision by the ISU), and the police got the best of the mob on Sunday. That's as good an outcome as you can realistically expect in that situation.

  2. I wonder what percentage of Torontonians who attended prorogation protest also attended the G20 protest? It is probably very high, and could somebody shine a light on the political activism at the University of Toronto?