G8/G20 latest: avalanche of money to fall on fake Muskoka, real Muskoka
The federal government would like to clear up something we reported on yesterday: the cost of the fake lake at the Direct Energy Centre will cost not nearly $2 million, but a mere $57,000. (Also, it’s not a lake; it’s an “alley.”) That’s still a pretty penny for a glorified puddle, but at least it’s a lot less than was earlier reported. The $2-million number is the price tag for the entire media centre, not the pool alone.
Of course, the feds aren’t just spending money on building a Potemkin Muskoka here in Toronto—they’re spending more than a million bucks in the real Muskoka, too. The Star‘s cover story today reports that preparations for the G8 summit in Huntsville have launched a beautification boom on “everything north of Barrie,” including a library fountain, a series of “park enhancements” and a pile of road and sidewalk improvements. Trees have been planted and curbs raised—but not, in at least one case, a fire hydrant (the Star coyly notes that it may well be unusable in the winter).
Canadians probably don’t mind an effort to tidy up when company’s coming, but this is starting to look like somebody got drunk with the money hose. When even local residents are calling improvements to their community a waste of money, this issue might just have legs.