Preparing for the impact: Anticipating the G20

workers.jpgWorkers install fences around the Toronto Metro Convention Centre that will host the G20 summit later this month, in Toronto on Monday, June 7, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrien Veczan

By Heather Morrison, G20 citizen blogger

heather52.jpgI am really excited to be a part of CBC's G20 Citizen Blogger team. I have lived in downtown Toronto since my University of Toronto days (about nine years) and have witnessed a number of events and issues play out in Toronto. Some of the most memorable that come to mind include Youth Day 2002 which brought Pope John Paul II and over 200,000 of his worshippers to Toronto, two garbage strikes in 2002 and 2009 (yes, 2002 was a hectic year), and multiple political protests lining University Avenue and Queen's Park.

These events definitely had a huge impact on the daily lives of Torontonians. However, I have a feeling they won't even compare to those the G20 has in store.  

The summit comes at a time when I believe the world is suffering from a lack of co-ordination on a number of issues -- the environment, the economy, women's health and rights, treaties, aid and combat. I look forward to hearing from Torontonians on how they feel about the decisions made or neglected during the summit.

The choice to place the G20, with all of its chaos, opposition and controversy, directly in the centre of Canada's largest city was a bold one. It has displaced a number of city employees and forced businesses, schools, theatres and restaurants to close. Our own mayor has advised that Torontonians leave their homes for the weekend, finding refuge outside the city centre. Public transportation has been disrupted, rerouted and in some cases will cease altogether. Bay Street is practically shutting down and the federal government has spent upwards of $1 billion on security. Overall, the financial and operational impacts of this event on Toronto will be huge.  

My goal as part of CBC's guest blogger team is to speak with those most affected by the G20 and bring their stories to light. I am interested in the total financial impact this decision will have on Toronto. I am also interested in what Torontonians have to say about having this decision made for them.

Related: Meet the team