What can a billion dollars buy?
Well, a space shuttle cost about a billion dollars new back 25 or so years ago. It might be more expensive to build one now, but a billion dollars can still buy something like three to four robotic missions to Mars. Or one deep space mission to, say, Jupiter or Saturn.
Back here on Earth, it can probably buy food and basic medical care for many millions of people in impoverished countries. Could help a great deal with the recovery in Haiti. Or, closer to home, it could cover nearly half the cost of Ottawa’s planned urban light rail system.
Or, it can buy you security for three days, while Canada hosts the G8/G20 leaders.
Forgive my language but have these assholes not heard of videoconferencing? Can’t they just use e-mail? Or, if they really must meet face to face and smell each other, can’t they meet somewhere like, say, the North Pole, to keep security costs at a minimum and not inconvenience thousands and thousands of citizens in the neighborhood? (I hope seals and polar bears forgive me for this suggestion.)