Other than being a bloody nuisance in terms of interrupting our normal schedules, the G-20 Summit hopefully will accomplish something positive. The conference which is taking place right now in Toronto until tomorrow, brings together Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors around the world to discuss the promotion of global financial stability and sustainable economic growth and development. Simultaneously, the G-8 Summit took place in Huntsville earlier today, bringing together the leaders of the world's top eight industrial democracies.
This of course has led to an increase in Security in Toronto and I myself have witnessed Cab Drivers being harassed by Police on the street and literally saw a Security Guard atop a Hotel down the road from me, armed with a Sniper. I suppose this is what happens though when you have the likes of President Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and King Abdullah milling about.
BAFTA Award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually) is one of many big names in-town right now. The Oxfam Ambassador, like Christy Turlington who was in town recently, is trying to raise awareness for issues affecting pregnant women at risk. The intention of his visit more so is to give the public a friendly reminder that G-8 owes Oxfam as much as $20 billion dollars in aid money. At an Oxfam Media Breakfast on Thursday he stated, “It seems to be fashionable to question whether aid really does improve the lives of poor people, but this could not be farther from the truth.... Every hour around the world 40 women and girls die in pregnancy and childbirth, not because they are feckless, lazy or stupid, but because the nearest hospital is often 100 miles away or they cannot afford to pay for treatment. The G-8 has a responsibility to live up to its promises and help these mothers-to-be and the one in seven children in Sub Saharan Africa who die before their fifth birthday."
I got to meet Nighy last night in Yorkville after he had wrapped up a dinner with some people from the organization. As they exchanged hugs and kisses, he came over to sign a few autographs and pose for pictures. Unsure if he was in town to film a movie or not, he clarified for me the reason of his visit and encouraged me to read up on the cause. And so I did. Calling it an early night, he headed back to his Hotel after graciously spending a few minutes to chat and shaking my hand.
To read more about Nighy's cause, click here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will-W.)