Thursday, May 20, 2010

CN Tower Closed, Work Downtown, Watch Out For . . .Who Cares? It Is May Two-Four

Canada’s largest city – Toronto – will be closed for business during the G20 Summit in June.

Security has scooted out the city’s Major League Baseball team, three games between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies which were supposed to be in Toronto, will now take place in Philadelphia. No word yet about refunds or exchanges for ticket holders of that match.

Federal police – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) – have advised professionals working in the heart of the country’s financial district on Bay Street not to wear their usual suits and ties, as they could easily become targets of protesters.

The country’s largest financial institutions, along with some other major corporations which have offices right next to the G20 designated areas are stockpiling supplies, in case their buildings are locked down.

And perhaps the most ironic security measure, one of the most recognized symbols of Canada’s peaceful freedom worldwide, the CN Tower will be shut down during the G20 Summit. Guess security-types are afraid some protester will break through the impenetrable Plexiglas floor and drop water balloons on the world leaders during one of their many photo-ops.

When Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper boasted about the great honor it is to host the most politically powerful 20 nations, he failed to mention at what cost that honor would come.

Granted, world security has been beefed up since the horrible events on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center, and the Pentagon in the United States were attacked by terrorists.

But do we really have to tell people they can’t wear suits and ties to work for their own protection?


What a world we live in.

But I don’t care – at least for the next few days.

Here in Canada, we’re gearing up for what most consider the first long weekend of the summer, the May 24 weekend, or May “Two-Four” – in Canadian-speak.

The last Monday on or before May 24 is always a holiday here, to honor Queen Victoria’s birthday – hence it is officially called the Victoria Day Weekend. But it also celebrates the reigning sovereign’s birthday (the Queen), so many just call it the May 24 weekend.

Or maybe it became known as May 24 because of the many 24-packs of beer which will be consumed this weekend, as we launch fireworks from our canoes and kayaks – a really challenging feat even on calm water.


Never mind -- cheers, to long weekends.

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