Toronto hating gets an embossed stamp: U.S. State Department says stay away during the G20
Torontonians woke up this morning to find that the U.S. State Department had put our fair city on the same list as Jamaica and Ethiopia, thanks to the G20 summit. In the language of the U.S. government, travel alerts are usually reserved for “natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence,” as well as less dramatic stuff, like the World Cup (South Africa currently has a travel alert). Of course, the rest of Canada has wanted people to stay out of Toronto for decades now.
The Toronto Star reports:
“Isn’t it ironic that the World Cup and the G20, two international gatherings by definition, have travel alerts?” said Andrew Weir of Tourism Toronto.
This is only the third time in recent history that Toronto has been brushed with a travel alert. In 2003, the World Health Organization issued travel advisories after several cases of SARS were diagnosed in the city. Less authoritatively, the San Francisco Chronicle published a warning to Toronto-bound Americans about garbage piling up during the municipal strike in 2009.
Hey, at least the G20 is actually happening. The last time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a warning about travelling through Canada, she was repeating stories about 9/11 hijackers coming from here (they weren’t). And this doesn’t count all of the high-level disagreements between Clinton and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
In Clinton’s defence, the State Department is likely correct: this city is going to be difficult for a week. So, congratulations to Secretary Clinton for graduating from making up stuff about Canada to getting things right.
• Travel Alert: Canada [US State Department]
• Stay away from Toronto during G20 summit, U.S. warns its citizens [Winnipeg Free Press]