TORONTO — Reporters covering this month’s G20 and G8 summits in Ontario will be able to take a break at an artificial lake, without leaving the air conditioned splendour of the media centre in Toronto.
It’s part of what summit organizers call the “Canadian corridor,” described as a “powerful exhibit” that will showcase Canadian investment opportunities and local points of interest.
Design photos show a lake surrounded by fake canoes and lawn chairs while another exhibit in the corridor shows a mock TSX.
According to a document from summit organizers, the rustic northern scene is a way to showcase Ontario’s Muskoka region, where the G8 is being held, to the many reporters who won’t get out of the Toronto media centre.
The document estimates the price tag for the project at $1.9 million, jointly funded by the federal and Ontario governments.
According to the document, reporters will be treated to the fake lake because the media has a crucial influence over the government’s primary target audience, senior business decision makers.
“It is therefore very important that we seize this unique opportunity to convey our message about Canada’s resilient business environment,” the document says.
The G8 and G20 summits run from June 24-26.
Hundreds of journalists are expected to cover the summits, but access to the Huntsville resort will be limited to fewer than 200 reporters and photographers, forcing the rest of the journalists to rely on a host broadcaster to pipe the events into the media centre in Toronto.
The cost of the two summits is running at roughly $1.2-billion, an amount that has the opposition and many Canadians pointedly questioning the federal Tories about where all the money is going.