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Ottawa summit ponders ripple effect

MULTILATERALS

       
Paul Martin

Paul Martin, Canada's finance minister and chairman of the G-20, won his bet that he could safely host simultaneous meetings of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors, the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the IMF and the World Bank's development committee in Ottawa.


There were at any time a 100 or more riot police visible between the Edwardian Fairmont Chateau Laurier, built by a hotel magnate who drowned in the Titanic, and a government conference centre that was formerly Ottawa's central rail terminal. There were government snipers peeking from its rooftop.


Ultimately little happened outside. A water cannon was fired. A reporter was bit in the leg by a police dog. A few dozen arrests were made.


Martin sought to make his case that the machinery of international financial institutions was working once more. Or as he put it: "It is very important that the world not only get back to business but it demonstrates unequivocally that it is back in business and that the terrorists are not going to bring things to a halt."




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