Apparently, we have a new right-wing talking point:
Critics point out that Britain pegged its costs for hosting a one-day G20 meeting in London last year at $30-million – a relative pittance, but an amount some U.K. newspapers still decried as spendthrift.
How to account for the Canada-U.K. discrepancy? Bookkeeping, according to [security czar Ward] Elcock.
“You’re assuming, and I frankly don’t, that the public numbers out there are correct,” he said. “If you could actually compare apples to apples, the costs are going to be fairly comparable.
“We have been much more transparent about total costs. I don’t mean that other countries are hiding costs,” he cautioned, saying that other, unnamed governments’ accounting methods are “just different.”
Ah, so the only reason Canada seems to be spending 30 to 40 times as much is that, apparently, we're simply being more open, more transparent, more accountable about that budget, is that it?
In that case, one might reasonably ask where that transparency and accountability was back in March:
In March, Canada allocated C$179 million for security costs at the two summits. This week it shocked legislators by revealing the overall total would in fact be many hundreds of millions of dollars more.
Sorry, Ward, but you can't have it both ways. You can't brag about transparency and accountability now after you clearly hid the real numbers two months ago. It doesn't work that way.
Unless you live in Stephen Harper's world. Then, sadly, it always works that way.