G20 aftermath: Toronto businesses aren’t a priority for federal government. Stop the presses
The government of Canada Harper government has a lot on its plate right now, what with being in combat with two entirely different Muslim countries and a budget to drop tomorrow that will probably lead to an election. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things to keep Ottawa busy: namely, cutting cheques to the businesses in Toronto that lost money due to last summer’s the G20 summit. Those cheques have finally started to arrive in business mailboxes around the city, but there’s a problem: they’re puny.
Kevin Parker, who manages Steve’s Music on Queen Street West, was among a number of business owners who complain they were shortchanged after suffering extensive damages during the G20. His business put in a claim for about $100,000, he said, but received a compensation offer for one-fifth of that.
“I think that’s a little ridiculous,” Mr. Parker said. “You guys held it in Toronto. You guys knew something was going to happen. People should be compensated for what was out of their pocket.”
In addition to four windows that buckled from the heat of a burning police car — set alight as vandals wreaked havoc in the downtown core for hours before authorities launched a stifling crackdown on G20 protests — the iconic Steve’s sign melted, Mr. Parker said.
One possible explanation for the shortchanging is that Ottawa is compensating businesses for physical damage, plus some token amount for lost business, but for metaphysical reasons, doesn’t want to get in to speculating how much business Toronto shops actually lost that weekend. Also, every dollar they pay out in compensation really just adds to the price tag for the G20 summit—and the Liberals are already slagging Stephen Harper’s fiscal rectitude on that front.
For a party that keeps telling us how much they’re trying to break in to Fortress Toronto, we kind of expected the G20 payouts to get a treatment more like their Conservative Canadian Economic Action Plan. Apparently, the strategy to conquer Toronto doesn’t involve any mea culpas.
• G20 business owners complain of being shortchanged by government [National Post]
• Downtown Toronto businesses decry G20 compensation as paltry [Globe and Mail]
• Business owners insulted by G20 compensation offers [Toronto Star]