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Strip club among businesses reimbursed for G20 losses

OTTAWA — The federal government has reimbursed a Toronto strip club that lost money when the city hosted the G20 summit.

Newly released figures show Zanzibar Tavern is among dozens of businesses compensated for losses during the high-security meetings in June 2010.

The 2011-2012 public accounts, released Tuesday, show the federal government paid more than $1.5 million to 144 businesses for lost revenue.

The accounting shows Zanzibar received $5,886 in compensation, or about half the amount the club claimed in losses. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press last year showed Zanzibar originally asked the federal government for $10,832.

The adult establishment is a local landmark along the Yonge Street strip, with an eye-catching neon street sign and cheeky messages on its marquee.

During the summit, the strip club offered an alternate meeting spot for world leaders.

“Forget G8, try G-strings,” read the marquee. “G20 leaders solve world peace in our VIP rooms.”

The club was one of many downtown spots targeted by vandals during the summit. Black Bloc anarchists tore down letters on Zanzibar’s iconic sign, smashed its windows with baseball bats and damaged its facade.

Leaders of the G8 countries gathered last year in cottage country near Huntsville, Ont., before joining other politicians for the G20 summit in Canada’s largest city.

More than 1,100 people were taken into custody and there was extensive damage to shops and vehicles during G20 protests.

During the G20 summit, ubiquitous security fencing and thousands of police officers filled the city’s downtown core, giving part of Toronto the look and feel of an armed camp.

The Foreign Affairs Department says a total of 411 claims were submitted by businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals due to lost revenue and unforeseen expenditures.

The public accounts document shows the largest recipient of G20 compensation was Porter Airlines, which operates from a downtown airport. The airline received $145,335.

Other top recipients of compensation included:

— Astral Media, $95,468

— Oxford Properties Group Inc., $88,512

— Sears Canada Inc., $76,970

— Toronto Downtown Jazz Society, $69,195

— CorpSeminar Inc., $61,255

— Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd., $56,478

— Great Lakes Schooner Company Ltd., $56,023

— Sir Corp,. $54,244

— Mountain Equipment Co-Operative, $44,064

— The Ki General Partnership, $42,387

One notable absence in the public accounts is the Toronto Blue Jays. Last year’s access-to-information documents showed the baseball club filed a claim for $470,854 after being forced to shift a series of games to Philadelphia.

The move spoiled the keenly anticipated appearance of ace Philadelphia pitcher Roy Halladay, whom the Jays had traded to the Phillies during the off-season.

 
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