If you've been anywhere near Toronto for the past few weeks, you wouldn't have been able to escape talk about this whole G20 meeting deal.
A guy on my baseball team is an officer with the Toronto Police, and he says they're going to be on for 13 straight days, 12-hour shifts. Today they started putting up security fencing — three-metre tall chain-link fencing, on top of concrete barriers — and people are going to have to show ID to get in and out of the secure area around the Convention Centre (with a suitable airport-like delay for good measure).
And, most notably, the Phillies-Jays series, which was to feature the return of Roy "Mr. Perfect" Halladay to Toronto, was moved to Philadelphia. The Jays will get home-field advantage and the game will be played under American League rules, but with tens of thousands of people cheering against you, it won't feel like much of a home game for the Jays.
(Not that I care. Go Tigers!)
Now, the thing that has made most peoples' eyes bug-out on this one is the staggering amount it's going to cost for all this stuff: $1.1 billion, at last count.
Yup. That's billion, with a big, fat B.
Nearly all of that ($933 million) is just for security.
For a three-day meeting.
So, obviously, it's a great idea to build a fake Muskoka-area lake inside a big building at the CNE, to the tune of $2 million. I mean, you're already going ten figures, what's a couple mil here and there? Build that lake... for reporters... to apologize for the fact that the G20 had to be moved from Muskoka to the city.
What's our debt these days again? It's big, right? Yeah, it's big.