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Live 8 not for Parliament Hill


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C B C . C A A r t s - F u l l S t o r y :

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Live 8 not for Parliament Hill: officials

Last Updated Fri, 10 Jun 2005 16:55:58 EDT

CBC Arts

Federal authorities with Public Works, Canadian Heritage, and RCMP have rejected the idea of using Parliament Hill as a site for a Live 8 concert on the day after Canada Day.

After a meeting Friday morning, the government officials said Canada supports the goals of the Live 8 concerts, which are to be held simultaneously in several cities around the world, but argued that Parliament Hill is too small a venue.

The Hill holds 75,000 people, and concert attendance is expected to be 150,000 or more.

They were also worried about damage to the buildings and grounds.

The decision does not necessarily mean there will be no Live 8 in Canada. An official with Public Works said the government is still discussing with promoters the possibility of using another federal site for a Live 8 show.

"It's not a 'No' to the concert, but it's a 'No' to using Parliament Hill and funding the concert with taxpayers' money, " Said Public Works spokesperson Mario Baril.

"Parliament Hill will not be possible for security concerns and costs. We believe that federal tax dollars would be better spent in real development and aid efforts directly."

RELATED STORY: Organizers working toward Canadian Live 8 Concert

Bob Geldof is behind the idea of staging the Live 8 concerts to focus attention on the issue of world-wide poverty and debt owed by poor nations to richer ones. Shows are scheduled to take place July 2 in London, Philadelphia, Berlin, Paris and Rome.

Canadian officials also said they would look at how other governments hosting Live 8 events are contributing to the cause.

Geldof wants Live 8 to raise awareness of the Make Poverty History campaign and put pressure on the leaders of the G-8 nations, who are meeting in Gleneagles, Scotland, near Edinburgh, from July 6 to 8.

Copyright ©2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

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