Needless to say, most people who aren't members of the ruling Conservative party aren't impressed. From The Globe and Mail:
[NDP leader Jack] Layton asked how the Prime Minister can justify the costs. [...] "We’ve got a government here that has to create an artificial lake when Canada has more lakes than just about any other country in the world.”
2. The Conservatives are defending it as a marketing ploy, though it's not clear what they're selling - is Canada a source of plentiful artificial lakes? And do the journalists covering G8/20 even care about Canada's lakes, real or not? From the CBC:
"The Experience Canada space will host over 3,000 media and other guests, and will serve to highlight Canada's pristine natural beauty, as well as promote leading Canadian businesses and industries," according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
"In fact, it's a $2-million marketing project," [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper said, "We must not miss this opportunity."