Leaders of the world’s largest economies, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama, will gather in Ontario this week to discuss plans to beat the economic slump amidst unprecedented security.
The tiny Ontario cottage town of Huntsville and Canada’s business capital usually have little in common, but in a few days, both will be thrust into the international spotlight as world leaders arrive for the G8 and G20 Summits.
The three-day meetings, which would run from June 25-26 in Huntsville and June 26-27 in Toronto, are billed over $ one billion as the largest security event ever in the Canadian history.
Over 150 intelligence agencies from across the world are keeping eye on suspected activities of terrorists and feeding information to the host country, but so far there is no cause of concern, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has reported.
Access to the innermost security zone during the G20 weekend will be controlled by a 3-metre-high fence and five levels of security screening, a summit official has said.
The G8 and G20 Summits Integrated Security Unit (ISU) is led by the RCMP and comprised of partners from the Canadian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air force), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Toronto Police Service (TPS), and Peel Regional Police (PRP).
The army will maintain observation posts and surveillance, while conducting joint patrols of the Toronto Pearson airport and the Huntsville area, soldiers from across Ontario have already begun to move into the summit areas, comprising the largest deployment of Reserve soldiers in a planned operation in history.
The navy will support the RCMP’s maritime security operations, including providing port security and dive teams.
The air force will conduct surveillance missions, early warning detection, and the air lift of dignitaries.
From the 24th through the 28th of June there are going to be airspace restrictions in the proximity of venues hosting the summits as part of an overall comprehensive security profile.
The restrictions will potentially impact recreational or charter operators who utilise Huntsville or Toronto airspace.
Besides, thousands of uniformed police officers and private security guards, who are not professionally trained, will be used to protect the dignitaries and their entourages.
It’s been expected that as many as 15,000 people, including international journalists, will be here for the meetings.
Canadian Forces Operation CADENCE 2010 will provide support to the ISU for the duration of both summits, while the elite Special Forces unit JTF 2 will remain on standby.