Continuing with my last post on the policing of the G20 meeting in Toronto, today's Toronto Star has an article about the exorbitant cost of policing this weekend event. (This is in addition to the exorbitant cost of the so-called security fence which has since been taken down, that is, for a temporary fence.)
"A report by [Police Chief Bill] Blair that will be presented to the police board on Monday reveals the Toronto force spent $5.3 million on hotels, more than $2 million on food and $4.6 million on radio rentals."
There are many reasons why costs sky-rocketed out of control -- paid for by us, the Canadian taxpayers! -- but one reason stems from holding the meetings in Toronto, a large Canadian urban center, and, with the normalization of security and policing that has become Canadian policy, police officers were flown in from across Canada to police the demonstrators (last minute flights and we know what that means!) and put up in hotels in downtown Toronto (pricey even without this event descending on the city!). Excerpt from "Staggering G20 blamed on timing":
"Roughly half of the 10,000 officers on duty during the G20 came from other jurisdictions. Of those, about 2,000 flew in. All of them, including Toronto police officers who live out of the city and were on call round the clock, were put up in hotels such as the Hyatt, Marriott and Delta Chelsea, at a time when room costs were inflated.
The summit may have lasted only three days, but the officers stayed two weeks. The first week was spent training. Demonstrations began early the week of the summit.
Approximately 4,400 personnel were housed for up to 13 nights.
Each day, officers were given either a $60 per diem or the equivalent in meal costs. Many were working on time-and-a-half overtime, on 12-hour shifts."
• Delta Chelsea Inn, 17 rooms, meals, meeting rooms: $2,619,555
• Allen-Vanguard Corp., tactical headgear — helmets, gas masks, eye shields (5,200 units): $2,246,479
• Met-Scan Canada Ltd., CCTV cameras, fibre-optics, related equipment: $1,176,180
• Eastern Developments Co-Tenancy, lease of Eastern Ave. site used for detentions: $1,769,853
Seriously, this last one really makes me mad -- the cost of a place to detain people arrested! Almost all of the people detained have had their charges dropped, which shows the baselessness of the charges. And Canadian taxpayers paid how much for the folly of rounding up innocent people demonstrating their civic right to voice dissent? For the rightful and legal practice of saying no to corporate greed? 1.7 million. Choke on that taxpayers.
And there is no money for much needed social services for disadvantaged people in the north or in the inner cities? No money to make the cost of educating a First Nations student on a reserve equal to that which is spend on students in mainstream provincial schools?
Read the full report of the staggering costs, with the specific costs noted at the end of the article.
[Note: I am having a recurring problem with formatting my blog. It seems blogger is changing some formats and does not allow more than one post on the main page, so everything after the last post goes to Older Posts. I have tried changing the number of posts on a page, but it doesn't matter what I put, I end up with the same problem. I am not sure if this is "formatting from above" is just for some blogs or for all bloggers at Blogspot, but I can tell you it is irritating me. I prefer at least 3-5 posts on the opening page so that there is a history to posts. Bear with me as I try to amend this (if possible!)]