Inside Politics

The G8, G20 and a gazebo worth gazillions

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Much has been made of the enormous price tag attached to the G8 and G20 summits to be held in Huntsville and Toronto at the end of the month.

It's expected the final cost will be somewhere near a billion dollars.

But at least some of that money is being spent on the gazebo you see here.

The NDP's Charlie Angus asked about the gazebo Thursday in question period:

"The industry minister has been siphoning off money to build gazebos at rural intersections in his riding under the pretense of G8 infrastructure. Will the minister explain why the billion dollar boondoggle is picking up the tab for pork-barrel projects for ShamWow Tony?"

The government's seemingly all-dossier spokesperson, Transport Minister John Baird, said there was money being spent to "spruce up the area" for the visitors.

But here's the catch: the gazebo, while admittedly lovely, has cost the federal government (and so really, you dear taxpayers) $100,000.

The government has not only built the gazebo, but also landscaped the area around it, which was previously a vacant lot.

And the chance that it will ever be seen, seems, well, very unlikely. The gazebo is in Orrville, about an hour drive from where the actual summit is taking place. It is hard to imagine that world leaders will expressly ask to see a regular ol' gazebo that is nowhere near their actual location.

What the Opposition parties are pointing out, however, is that the gazebo is rather conveniently located right in Industry Minister Tony Clement's riding.

So perhaps he'll stop by...

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