The prime minister's spokesman for the G-8 summit has a message for anarchists, anti-capitalists and anyone else with an "axe to grind" over globalization.
If you plan to protest, "do it in Calgary," said Robert Fowler, Jean Chretien's representative for the upcoming economic summit in Kananaskis Country.
Fowler's advice came as Ottawa pledged millions in upfront funding to pay for G-8 preparations.
Fowler, speaking in Calgary on Wednesday, suggested protesters demonstrate in Calgary because Kananaskis Village will become a fortress of security during the summit, which will be off-limits to the public.
Fowler said protesters who try to hike through the back country to crash the G-8 party will hit a security perimeter around the village measured not "in metres, but in kilometres."
"There will be nobody allowed within a close distance of Kananaskis," said Fowler, who is also Canada's ambassador to Italy.
"We will not be seeking to stifle people. That said, we will not have a lot of tolerance for people who wish to use these events for violent purposes.
"RCMP and police are not going to allow people with backpacks to approach the summit site. We cannot allow that."
Fowler's comments concerned Mayor Dave Bronconnier, who doesn't want chaos on city streets during the summit, which runs next June 26 to 28.
Bronconnier said he plans today to ask Fowler to clarify his position on where and how protests should take place.
"Peaceful demonstrations are part of active democracy and if they take place here, that's fine," Bronconnier said. However, "my message will be clear: We're not going to be a place for people looking to cause trouble."
Protest groups have named both Kananaskis and Calgary as possible locations for demonstrations.
Some anti-globalization organizations, such as the Calgary Logistics Group, have said they prefer to protest in Calgary because of the environmental sensitivity of K-Country. Others have vowed to hike over mountains and through forests to infiltrate the event.
Fowler wouldn't say whether Kananaskis Village would be surrounded by a wall, akin to the wall that protected world leaders -- and inflamed protesters -- during the Summit of the Americas in April in Quebec.
He suggested minor G-8 summit delegation members, along with members of the media, may be kept out of Kananaskis Village for security reasons. Information on the summit's progress may have to be passed along via video teleconferencing and other such means.
Fowler did, however, pledge cash will be available upfront to cover "extraordinary" security costs, the first time that concession has been made for a G-8 summit.
"There is a provision for upfront interim payments. This means our joint security force (of Calgary police and RCMP) . . . can get on with the job of guaranteeing a safe, secure summit."
Both the city and the province have been fighting for upfront funding.
Calgary police Chief Jack Beaton said he was encouraged to hear interim security cash is on its way.
Both Fowler and Beaton said the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have forced officials to reassess their security needs.
"When we first started planning the G-8, we were dealing with anarchists and protesters. Now we've added terrorists to the mix," Beaton said.
"The world is now well aware there are individuals willing to die trying to bring enormous harm to other people," Fowler added. "The campaign against terror will undoubtedly be a very significant part of the Kananaskis agenda."
Along with terrorism issues, Fowler said, the summit will focus on "stimulating economic growth" and helping improve the plight of African nations.
He also said it will be an opportunity to showcase Calgary, K-Country and Alberta. "We will use this meeting as an opportunity to show the world what the Alberta Advantage is all about."
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