Thursday, July 8, 2010

Come to Toronto. Leave Your Civil Liberties at the Door

Toronto's latest tourist attraction is not encouraging tourists to add the city to their vacation must see. While Stephen Harper allowed vandals to run amok, so he could use those images to justify his enormous 1.3 billion dollar expenditure on security, those images have also turned others away. At a time when those tourist dollars are needed, our hapless PM has managed to scare the beejeezus out of potential visitors.
Luring tourists back to Toronto’s downtown area following the chaotic and violent G20 weekend is a top priority for businesses and city officials. Spending at stores, restaurants and almost every other business dropped dramatically during the June 25-27 summit that left a trail of broken windows, smashed ATMs, graffiti and burning police cars along Queen and Yonge Sts, according to Moneris Solution, a debit and credit card processing company. There are fears that Internet and media images of a burning Toronto Police cruiser and windows being smashed by protesters during the G20 may keep visitors away from the city.

As one person commented at the end of the article: "Who would want to come to Toronto, the police state capital of the world?"

Laura Penney thinks that Stephen Harper is rejoicing:
Holding the G20 in Toronto – as opposed to the more remote locations many suggested – was a golden opportunity for Harper to make this very case, very graphically, on the taxpayer's dime. The Harper government has the distinction of being Canada's most micro-managed, image-conscious government in Canadian history; those riots were no accident, whether they were fomented by police agents provocateurs or the customary Black Bloc suspects. Either way, the car-burnings and window-smashings were exactly what Harper wanted. (Can you think of a better way for him to flip the bird at hated Toronto?)

Toronto was not the only place given a black eye.

Welcome to Canada, the new Police State capital of the world.

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