Canada wants to offer a home in Montreal to the UN, or so the Canadian press has been reporting for the past few days. Thank you, Canada! It’s a great idea in so many ways. In New York, it would free up loads of space for parking, apartments, and commercial ventures that actually contribute to the net wealth of the world. It would end the annual UN gridlock in Manhattan, leave the likes of Iran’s Ahmadinejad to set up speaking engagements in Canada instead of at Columbia University, and could save U.S. taxpayers from footing the bulk of the $1.9 billion-plus (and still ballooning) tab for renovating the current UN headquarters at Turtle Bay. It might even reduce the incentives for the U.S. to pour more than $5 billion a year into the UN budget, under the delusional impression that this gives America some sort of clout by way of fueling the UN gravy train. And if Global Warming is as big a deal as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says it is, then a move north should be just fine — the UN-ocrats can enjoy their lattes year round in open-air Canadian cafes.
Though why stop at Montreal? I see on the map a come-hither patch jutting just north of Greenland, called Ellesmere Island, with a place by the name of Cape Columbia. Tailor-made for Ahmadinejad’s next UN-hosted trip to North America. Parking, no problem. And UN delegations dedicated to bettering the lot of mankind could concentrate on their business without the distractions of such fripperies as Manhattan restaurants, luxury hotels and jewelry stores.
But alas, the UN won’t even consider it. Below is the exchange that took place Monday at the UN noon briefing between reporter Matthew Russell Lee of the Inner-City Press, and Ban Ki-Moon’s spokeswoman, Michele Montas. (The final line could make you wonder if the UN might best be re-located back to someplace like Mars, where it presumably came from):
Question: Okay, there’s also a very strange — and which maybe you can just shoot down — there’s an article in the Canadian press over the weekend saying that Montreal made a $2.2 billion proposal to the UN to move the UN to Montreal. Have you ever heard of that?
Spokesperson: I’ve heard of it, we are aware of those reports.
Question: Is it true?
Spokesperson: Not that I know of.
Question: There was never a proposal made?
Spokesperson: Well, maybe there was a proposal made but it was not accepted if it was made.