The Toronto G20 Summit of June 26-27, 2010, hosted by Stephen Harper, was an incredibly expensive undertaking that resulted in massive human rights violations against members of the public at the hands of the police. Despite this, politicians refuse to call a full public inquiry and hold police—as well as themselves—to account … something to think about on the 4th anniversary of the Toronto G20, and as we approach this year’s Canada Day celebrations.
1. Over half a billion dollars was spent on security for the three-day G8/G20 summit.
The final tally of security costs for the three-day G8 and G20 summits, held back-to-back, was $676 million. About $330 million of that went to the RCMP and the rest to various participating police forces, including the Toronto Police Service. The total overall cost of the summits was roughly $858 million.
A couple of comparisons to put this staggering sum in perspective: it’s higher than the $818 million currently being spent to build a 36 kilometre light rail and bus rapid transit system in the Waterloo region, and it’s almost 43 times greater than what the federal government says it will save each year (i.e., $20 million) due to cuts to refugee health care implemented by the Conservatives.
2. The largest mass-arrest in Canadian peacetime history happened during the summit.
The 1,105 arrests made over the G20 weekend constituted a new record for mass arrests in Canada during peaceful times. Stunningly, this figure was more than twice as large as the almost 500 citizens who were detained or arrested during the October 1970 FLQ Crisis in Quebec, when Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act and deployed soldiers throughout the province. (This record mass arrest was surpassed in 2012 by the arrests of protesters during the 2012 student strikes in Quebec, though these occurred across the province and over a longer period.)