Friday, June 25, 2010

Sorry, Huntsville. You look great but you're just not big enough

Ian Austen reports in today's New York Times from Huntsville, Ontario, population 18,280. Huntsville was to have been the site of the Group of 8 summit this week-end, a decision that "set off a spending spree that now totals nearly $48 million by the government’s last estimate, or nearly $93 million by the calculations of the opposition Liberal Party." The expenditures were for infrastructure--buildings, roads, gazebos, toilets--to support the summit.

Last fall, however, when the Group of 8 decided to meet as a Group of 20 instead, Huntsville was deemed too small, and Toronto became the summit venue. As Austen expresses it, "what was supposed to be Huntsville’s moment of glory is increasingly becoming a minor national scandal."

Now, however, "Huntsville’s consolation prize is a brief meeting of the Group of 8 leaders at a resort here before they helicopter off for their real work in Toronto." Sadly for all Canadians, the time in Huntsville will be so brief as not to justify the past few years' investment in Huntsville, at least not for purposes of the summit.

So much for the political nod to rural Canada ...

No comments: