TORONTO – Canada’s Conservative government came under fire Monday for spending nearly $2 million on a simulation of the small-town site of this month’s G-8 and G-20 summits, complete with an artificial lake inside a temporary media center.

The display, which cost $1.8 million, is called The Experience Canada Corridor and will include canoes, trees, deck chairs and a fake dock.

Only a small pool of reporters will be allowed to cover the G-8 summit in Huntsville, because of the small venue size, so the majority will cover it from Toronto, 140 miles to the south, where the G-20 summit will be held that same weekend.

Opposition lawmaker Mark Holland ridiculed the government over the expense.

“For the use of media only, the government is splurging on a $2 million fake lake in downtown Toronto complete with a sprawling dock, bar, canoes and a giant jumbotron,” Holland said.

Opposition parties had earlier decried the nearly $1 billion the government has said it plans to spend on security for the two summits.

The government had originally planned to host both summits in Huntsville, but the G-20 venue was changed to Toronto, Canada’s largest city, after concerns surfaced that Huntsville, with a population of around 20,000, lacked sufficient infrastructure for the larger event.


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