The Comment

Unwarranted, inexcusable affront to Canadian-Italians

TORONTO – I should have added the word deliberate in the headline. Only the uncouth, unschooled would allow the harassment of a guest. Or, worse, prevent the host Prime Minister from showing Canadian hospitality to an esteemed foreign dignitary, Giorgia Meloni, current Chair of the G-7 group. She has the same ethnic background as 1.5 million Canadians.

It was a “slight” and an embarrassment that could, and should, have been avoided. Mine is a first-hand account of my observations and assessment. I entered the premises before the militants’ organization regressed from being an “irritant” to a downright hostile crowd, both in size and aggressivity. One of my sons, two of the Corriere Canadese staff and a member of the Comites (an organization elected to represent Italian citizens abroad) did not, until the event was cancelled.

The last five times I saw our Prime Minister Trudeau travel through the GTA, he was escorted by no less than ten (10) black, tinted, bullet-proof SUVs – driver and security detail included. On one of those occasions, a lunch date with Minister Ahmed Hussein and some campaign donors, a SWAT team with sniffer dogs preceded him to secure the area before the SUVs arrived. The point is that “the authorities are well aware” of protocols and elementary procedures to be followed in such cases.

Perhaps it was a mere indication of the importance attributed to the subjects at hand, an indicator of the depths to which security in Toronto had descended or a desire accordingly to act “with an abundance of caution”. Trudeau Cabinet Minister Bill Blair, when he was Chief of Police in Toronto, managed to spend every penny of the $ 2 billion allocated for security allocated for security in the G-7 1n 2010.

This time, the guest was the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni. Invitees were pre-screened by local Liberal Members of Parliament and/or approved by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) before they were provided with a personalized, non-transferable invitation card, via e-mail from the PMO, to the Reception, after 10:00 AM on the morning of the “Meet and Greet”.

At least two Ontario Conservative MPPs and several [entry level] recognizable exponents of the NDP must also have received such invitations. They like me, “got through”, as did former Senator Basile Giordano and family from Montreal. Someone must have forgotten to advise Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow that her presence would have been de rigeur. There was no evidence at the entrances of the AGO, when I arrived, of any TPS (Toronto Police Services). They work for her worship, who just secured a hefty tax hike to improve their remuneration for services. There was a significant presence of RCMP and Parliamentary security inside where the reception was to take place.

As per the coverage of Francesco Veronesi and Marzio Pelù elsewhere on our websites and, there was a presence of TPS riot Prevention and Control personnel by the time the PMO declared the fateful event closed. We had to ask permission to use the exits.

Inside, the talk had turned from Italy/Meloni/G-7 to the disgraceful image of Canada and the City. In Italian: una figuraccia! Next year, Canada is slated to host the next scheduled G-7 Summit… maybe, if it is not in Toronto or the PMO changes.

In the pic above, Minister Anita Anand with P. Pellegrini, ex MPP Joe Cordiano and the Publisher Hon. Joe Volpe

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