Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Mainstream Media helping Opposition MP's Mislead the Public?

Open Parliament Oral Question June 10, 2010
Open Parliament Oral Questions June 15, 2010
Kevin Page Assessment of Planned Security Costs for the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits
Key Points June 23, 2010 Assessment
  • The Government of Canada has been relatively transparent, when compared to other countries, on the costs of security related to the summits. The total cost of security for the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits amounts to $930M, which includes $507M for RCMP, $278M for Public Safety, $78M for National Defence and a $55M contingency reserve.
  • The PBO found it difficult to find comparable data of past events to assess the security costs related to the 2010 Summits. This is largely due to the lack of disclosure by other jurisdictions, differences in key considerations and cost drivers of summit security and differences between base versus incremental funding.
Misleading Comparisons: Full Cost or Partial Cost

Heads of state and government at the G20 summit
Did Media+Opposition call this a "Photo-op" in 2009?
An oft-quoted figure has been that the 2009 Pittsburgh G20 Summit spent $18M on security. During discussions with senior city officials in Pittsburgh, PBO learned that this figure accounted for overtime costs for local and state police as well as salary and expenses for visiting forces from other jurisdictions. However, this figure did not include the deployment of the Army, National Guard, nor preparations and deployment of any of the major intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, USSS), or costs incurred by other federal agencies such as the State Department and their Diplomatic Security Service or the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the Secret Service, Border Protection and US Coast Guard. 
Auditor General Sheila Fraser is conducting an audit of summit spending and Miguel Lanthier, a spokesperson in her office, said the report is expected to be released in the spring of 2011.
“It will focus on whether costs reported were budgeted, accounted for, and expensed as intended,” he said, adding that it will also consider whether the money was well spent.

So we have the opposition and media refusing to accept the key points by Kevin Page, PBO released in June 2010 and additional Report due in the spring of 2011 by Sheila Fraser AG.

The facts are not that important, the fairytale and misleading comparisons will be given support by the mainstream media. Is this fair and balanced reporting?
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