Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Economies Of Scale

So I'm reading about the $1.3 billion dollars that were spent on the summit security and we all know how fabulously that went and what we got for our money. Armed, uniformed bullies conducting mass arrests and violating people's civil rights while the G-8 and G-20 delegates and officials had their photo-op pictures taken for deals that had been struck pro-forma (before they ever got here). I mean I can't think of a better way to spend that kind of money, can you? It's a great demonstration of the Conservatives bona fides as far as being fiscally conservative goes, and government officials were saying today that the costs for the G8 and G20 summits in June were a bargain at $1.3 billion. Who could ever doubt them now?


 You had to spend that kind of money,  ...to assure the world that the summits would go off without a hitch, said the man who oversaw security at the meetings, former spy chief Ward Elcock. "Many leaders will simply not come to a meeting at which adequate security does not exist."

Holding the G8 at a resort in rural Huntsville, Ont., the government had to pay high fixed costs to set up the infrastructure, temporary accommodation, telecommunications and transportation services the summit needed -- and by holding two summits at different sites, authorities had to secure hundreds of kilometres of highway, as well as make sure alternative transportation was available in case of bad weather.
So the original planning helped dictate high costs, although the above explanation doesn't really gibe with what the head of the government's Summit Management Office and chief organizer Peter McGovern says.
Since the two meetings were held just 250 kilometres apart — in Huntsville, Ont., and Toronto — Ottawa was able to spend efficiently by using the same contractors and planners for both events, McGovern argued.



"Although the summits were held in two locations, the advantage of choosing Toronto and Huntsville as hosts was that the contracts for goods and services could serve both locations given their relative proximity," McGovern said. "It also meant that my office did not need to double up the request-for-proposal process."
So the costs were high because the two summits were far apart, but because the two summits were close together they saved money. Got it.

As fuzzy as those explanations are, the excuse that caught my eye was McGovern's claim that, the "overarching consideration" in putting together the summits was "finding economies of scale. I'm pretty sure if you looked up the definition of obfuscating horsesh** in the not too distant future this statement will be there. Economies of scale? Really? The cost advantages that a business obtains due to expansion? That was the best they could come up with?

Needless to say he opposition aren't buying it but that hardly matters when you look at the polls. The real question is are Canadians paying attention? And if they're not, whose fault is that?

3 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

And Sarkozy is budgeting $67-million for security to host the G8/G20 next year. And that's in France. And France has a significant and problematic issue with Muslims.

karl knox said...

Hey Mound of Sound! Hope you noticed your site is blogrolled here. Anywhere else $1.3 billion would be a scandal but sadly Canadians seem pretty complacent about their government's profligate spending habits - prisons, jets, fake lakes and Harper remains in the lead in the polls - in the low 30's but still ouut front!

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