I don't want to beat this whole "Summit costs run amok" thing into the ground (Ha! who am I kidding? This whole thing is blogging gold!) but earlier Dave expressed some concerns over the fact that the captive press corps that will be warehoused by the fake lake in some Toronto warehouse will be getting fed free beer and wine during the G8 and G20 summits. As a reporter, I can assure you it is not unusual for there to be "hospitality suites" set up at such events - though the fake lake is a new, ridiculously expensive and completely idiotic twist on the idea. And those hospitality suites are usually set up by the various marketing boards and trade promotion organizations who exist to promote Canadian products like wine, cheese, beer and other essentials.
Reporters who cover these kinds of huge events sort of expect to be fed and watered to some degree. And if you take journalists who have travelled halfway around the world to cover the summit and herd them into a warehouse 200 km from the actual event and feed them the usual pablum that come out of these kind of events, you better get them liquored up or you're going to need all that security apparatus.
Mind you, they could cancel the whole waste of time and spend all the money on beer as far I'm concerned. At $37 a case (Ontario Beer Store wholesales prices) $1.1 billion would buy 29,729,729 cases of Molson's Canadian. Given that the total population of the country is roughly 34 million give or take 500,000 or so and given that a portion of that total population are underage or abstainers or just plain don't care for beer, we could keep the beer budget to a billion dollars and give every hoser in the Great White North a 24 of chilly wobbypops and still have $100 million left over to put a back bacon sandwich on every plate for Canada Day.
I know these guys would vote for it. After all, it is a lot easier than trying to feed a baby mouse inside the beer bottle.