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Preparations for the G8 in Huntsville

The Globe and Mail reports on preparations underway in Huntsville for the G8 summit this coming June 25-27.

“The hottest rumour at the moment is that the Canadian summit will be ‘G8-plus,’ meaning more than the big eight nations will (be coming to Huntsville). German Chancellor Angela Merkel was first to say the G8 concept is ‘no longer sufficient,’ and other leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, are showing a willingness to expand the annual gathering to include other international players. The nearby town of Gravenhurst has already contacted organizers to see whether the Chinese delegation might be housed there…”

Industry Minister Tony Clement says, “The Prime Minister will have to decide whether this is G8-plus or not. That’s the Prime Minister’s prerogative – he’s the invite-or.”

(Harper has stated, “We will definitely invite other countries, but we haven’t quite decided the format.”)

“In late September and again in late January, Mr. Clement will be escorting various international media to show off the site…”

“It was (also recently) announced that (during the summit) the 4,000 or so media would actually be housed in Toronto, with pool reporters being shuttled north each day…”

“…Nearly $50-million worth of improvements and new structures are coming courtesy of the summit requirements and a G8 Legacy Fund. An $18-million Summit Centre near the arena will later be transformed into an Olympic-sized ice surface. And a $9-million grant from the legacy fund will go toward a facility that will then be turned over to the University of Waterloo to relocate its environmental studies program.”

“The RCMP has, very quietly, opened a small office in town. Arrangements are being made to put up the thousands of army and police in such places as the local fairgrounds.”

To read about how the Council of Canadians intends to counter the G8 summit in Huntsville, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=396.

The Globe and Mail article is at http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090711.G8MACGREGOR11ART2236/TPStory/TPComment/.