The federal government is spending at least $1.24 billion on the G8 and G20 summits. Some projects that have stirred controversy:

Fake lake: $1.9 million on a “marketing pavilion” at the Toronto media centre that includes a fake lake, canoes, giant screen TV, bar, replica of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and Muskoka chairs.

Port-a-potties: $416,387 for 600 portable toilets near the G8 site outside Huntsville, Ont.
Big rock: $194,000 for a Welcome Granite Stone in Parry Sound, about 80 km from the G8 summit.

Sidewalks: $125,000 to brick over sidewalks and build a band shell in Sundridge, 60 kilometres from the G8 summit.

Decorations: $167,000 to hire a decorator and develop a “fine arts strategy” for the G8 and G20 summits.

Landscaping: $745,000 to spruce up the downtowns of Rosseau, Hum­phrey and Orrville — far from the G8 summit, where dignitaries have no intention of travelling.

Food safety: $1.2 million for Health Canada, mainly to make sure the food eaten by the dignitaries and their entourages is safe.

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