Thursday, June 10, 2010

The G20 Hate Parade is Not a Place to Cut Costs

I'm not very happy about this $1 Billion summit.  Fake lakes and their fake costs aside, we all know where this money is being spent.  Apparently this is what it costs to keep Fortress Toronto from sacking itself.  It probably won't even be 100% successful.

What has been really bugging me lately is the ridiculous calls from some quarters to have the military replace the police as the main security force.  Don Martin paraphrases Kevin Page in the National Post:
 "Kevin Page may well quibble at the premium for deploying RCMP officers when Canadian soldiers could've been used without overtime costs."
 Craig Oliver asks similar questions here.

I take issue with this whole line of reasoning.  $450 million is going to the RCMP alone.  A large part of that is going towards overtime.  I can't believe that people would suggest we deploy Canadian soldiers against Canadians to save money.  The police will be putting themselves at significant risk and spending time away from their families.  Are we saying they don't deserve overtime?  We would rather send well trained peace officers home, and replace them with veteran warriors, because it will be cheaper?

This is insane.  Nobody can be thinking this is a real option.  Its just more gotcha politics.  The military shall stay in reserve where they should be.  They don't get overtime for a reason.  They are not surplus general labour.  The recently recovered 1,500 Kg of ammonium nitrate outlines the kind of things the military might have to deal with.   I sincerely hope they are not called upon to serve long hours and extreme conditions right here in Canada.


bullpup said...

I agree with you 100%. The RCMP has just announced the price tag for the RCMP in 2002 for the G8 in Halifax cost over 300 million. I would say pretty much on par if you look at 2 summits in 2010. The opposition did the same with the H1N1 crisis. The exaggerated and fear mongered Canadians to create the crisis.

The_Iceman said...

Thankfully they found the fertilizer, but it did illustrate the importance of spending money on security. It was a little nuts yesterday to have the CBC slamming the security price tag at the same time they were reporting the missing fertilizer.

The biggest difference (other than pay) between troops and cops is that the RCMP officers are specifically trained to enforce Canadian law. Soldiers are trained for combat.

Anonymous said...

The NDP, who alawys trumpet the right of the working person to a fair and decent wage, seem to be pretty quick to have jobs replaced by lower wage scale workers. As for the Liberals, they have always looked upon the military as a cheap labour pool, only necessary in times of flood, forest fires, or snowstorms in Toronto.

Anonymous said...

The ndp want lower wage scale workers so they can
unionize them and jump their wages.

L said...

This is the first G20. Remember the cost of the China Olympics. This is about international face and stature. Asians are impressed by shows of wealth - when I lived overseas, one of the first questions people asked was how much our apartment cost. The PM is correct - this is marketing Canada and Ontario as a beautiful, modern and safe place to do business. Do we not want to do a lot more business with Asia? Scrimping on the small points would not work. The lake is over the top, but this was a last minute change of venue, so ideal fiscal oversight might have been a bit lax on the Pavilion designer. Other than that, the security strategy is exactly the same as for the Olympics. We had over three months of inconvenience, so why is Toronto whining at 3 weeks?? Joint-Ontario-China ventures may eventually save their butts.

Alex said...

This isn't to say that the troops wouldn't perform superbly and without complaint. I'm just saying its wrong headed to make these decisions based solely on cost. Let the pro's do what they are trained to do. Let the army be there just in case.

Thanks all for your good comments.

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