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I wonder if they shoot the moose that get too close?

When I make the 5 1/2 westward trek to my hometown outside of Parry Sound, Ontario, I take Highway 60 through Algonquin Park – or just “The Park” as we call it.

It’s a beautiful drive. Rolling hills, lakes and rivers… and lots of fauna. Why, just last month when I did the trip with two of my kids, we saw 4 moose right on the side of the road! The kids loved it!

But we didn’t see anything like this:

This Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) is parked right on the side of the highway near Hidden Valley Road. Hey, they’re using these against the freakin’ Taliban! Protesters and stray moose wouldn’t stand a chance!

There are gates across the highway now, with police and soldiers monitoring check points and checking the ID of anyone who approaches.

Some of the locals are taking it in stride, I hear. But some are not so happy about the whole Gee-Ate thingy. Folks in this part of the world are pretty practical and straight forward. They are not afraid to call a spade a spade… like this guy:

John Niedzwiecki, 55, who runs a popular chip wagon across from the Tim Hortons in downtown Huntsville, is the first to admit it doesn’t take much to get him worked up.

“They told me to take down my ‘Obama for Prime Minister’ sign (on top of his chip truck). They told me it was disrespectful to the (federal) government given all it has done for Huntsville,” said the Muskoka native.

He said it wasn’t like the local Conservative MP, Industry Minister Tony Clement, was being altruistic by pumping $50 million of G8 money into the Muskoka-Parry Sound riding.

“All he did was buy himself another four years in power. I know he doesn’t like to hear that, but people aren’t stupid.”

I too would like to think that they’re not stupid.

And I hope those moose that we saw are not stupid enough to get close to one of those check points. I’m pretty sure they haven’t been cleared by the Integrated Security Unit.


The folly of Harper’s fences

And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
Signs – 5 Man Electrical Band

Almost complete are the conversions of two different Ontario communities into armed fortresses that would make even Kim Il Jong blush.

Huntsville and Toronto are very, very different types of communities – aside from the fact that many from the latter like to spend their summers in and around the former – the two are as different as night and day. Small town Ontario versus the Big Smoke. Urban versus rural. Natural environment versus built environment.

But over the next little while, these two communities have something very much in common. Something that up until recently, would have been unthinkable in the country.

They are full-fledged, razor wired, jack-booted police states.

I mean, what else can you call them?

Both are ringed with a 3 metre high fence that will be defended by fully armed and outfitted police officers recruited from the RCMP, OPP and the Metre Toronto boyz and girlz in blue. They have been specially trained in the use of anti-riot weapons like water cannons, sonic cannons, tasers, whips, batons, big guns, small guns, tear gas and effective noogy giving.

At first, the chattering was all about the threat of terrorism and hence the need for massive security.  Since terrorism is no longer a “threat”, we should not be too surprised that Day and the other Harperites are now characterizing all protesters as “anarchists and thugs”.  Thus the reason for this incredible and unprecedented armed presence on the streets of T.O. and in the bush around Huntsville. The ReformCons have to say something to warrant the ONE BEEL-LEE-ON dollars being spent on the establishment of the police state.

Sure, there will be some protesters in Toronto (there may be some in Huntsville too, but the main throng will be where they can garner the most media coverage) who are not there to exercise their democratic rights of free expression and assembly in a peaceful and meaningful way. There will be those who are there simply to cause trouble, mayhem and madness and to damage property.

But surely they can be identified fairly quickly and dealt with in an appropriate way? There are, like, thousands of cops and other security personnel, after all! They don’t do advance reconnaissance to identify individuals who may pose a threat? There isn’t a list somewhere?

I find that hard to believe.

Nope – the powers-that-be WANT disruption so they can point to it and say:

“We told you so! All of that money spent on fences, cops, cannons and razor wire was so WORTH it!”

The folks that I do feel sorry for are those in Huntsville and T.O. for whom this whole thing is a nightmare of epic proportions. I even feel sorry for the Bay Street lawyers!

Naw. That’s going too far.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Torontoist – which is keeping a running tab on what the Gee-Score is ruining or making a mess of.

I’m sure everyone is thanking you, Stevo! From the tourism operators in Muskoka to the LCBO employees in downtown Toronto. Thanks a BILLION!

And all for a photo op…

Well, how is this for a photo op?


Sidewalks, lighthouses and gazebos…

G8 slush fund pays for new sidewalk in Parry Sound… but not to pay the costs of raising the fire hydrant… it’s gonna be tough this winter for that poor hydrant as it will be bashed repeatedly back the sidewalk snowplow!

Here are more pics of how our tax dollars are being spent in Cottage Country.

This is getting to be really embarassing for the ReformCons!

Notice how Harpy is staying out of it and letting “Fat” Tony Clement take the heat?

What a joke! Canada is becoming a laughingstock! And THAT is sad.


Can Huntsville handle the G-20? Or should it migrate south?

This has been stickin’ in my craw for a while now. How can a small town, with limited accommodation facilities, handle the throngs that are sure to descend on the bucolic town of Huntsville next summer?

I grew up not far from Huntsville so know the area very well. There are a few hotels and motels – in addition to the primo facility – Deerhurst – that the leaders and their entourages will be meeting and bedding down at during the summit. And that is fine and dandy, I guess. I mean, the organizers of this massive event (and yes, it will be the most massive happening ever seen near the shores of Lake Vernon) must have assessed the capacity of the town to handle of these extra folks who will be by for a spell, right?

But think about it. In addition to Obama, Sarkozy. Stevo, etc., the town can expect some of the following to come calling:

  • Aides and staff that don’t rate the stay at Deerhurst – 20 nations of them
  • Media from all over the world. CNN alone will probably send at least 20 or 30!
  • War protesters, seal protesters, tar sand protesters, Tamil rights protesters, anti-abortion protesters, pro-choice protesters, anti-gun protesters, NRA morons, anarchists, nihilists, communists, Quebec separatists… and maybe even Danny Williams
  • Gawkers and folks who are just a little interested in the goings-ons…
  • Regular tourist types who get way-laid at check points on Highway 11 on their way to Algonquin Park

There’s more:

  • What about the stress on the town’s drinking water and waste water treatment plants? Do they have the capacity to handle this – even for a few days?
  • What about emergency services? If Donnie has a heart attack at the Zellers, will he get an ambulance in time to save him? Will the emergency vehicles be thwarted by road closures?
  • How is everyone outside the resort going to find food? Sure, there are some nice burger spots, but we’re talking way more than the peak of the tourist season, folks.

And that’s all just off the top of my head.

Main point here: don’t at all be surprised if the geniuses who thought of Huntsville as the ideal town in a CPC riding to host this hootenanny to have some second thoughts. And don’t be surprised if the Summit planners quietly and incrementally begin to relocate this thing to a locale further to the south – like Barrie or Toronto. Some of the locals are already talking about this possibility and rumours are beginning to circulate at the local Timmies.

Stay tuned, and if it comes to pass, you heard it here first.