Friday, 13 February 2009

Inland From Vancouver Shore The Ravens And The Seagulls Push Each Other Inward And Outward

Friday Faff: Soapbox Edition

One of items in my 25 Things About Me post was that I don't support the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Sarah asked why. I composed a long, ranty post in my head but decided to try to break it down into brief sections. There will be less head melting that way.

Vancouver has more homeless people than any other Canadian city. Part of the reason is due to the fact that you can sleep on the street in Vancouver in the dead of winter and wake up alive. I'm not sure that applies anywhere else in Canada. If Vancouver has billions of dollars to swing its Olympic-sized dick around, surely they can find a few million to build housing for Vancouver's homeless.

If I was creating a budget for an event that is occurring in the future, I would ensure to factor in a reasonable rate of inflation. Stating that Vancouver's Olympic security budget jumped from $175 million to over a billion dollars because of inflation is manipulative and insulting.

Just last year, Montreal finally paid off its debt from the 1976 Olympics. I am afraid that Vancouver is following the same path, especially after the City of Vancouver's $100 million loan guarantee to the company building the Olympic Village.

I love my city. Vancouver is beautiful and vibrant and alive. I understand why people support the Olympics. I understand that people want to show off this amazing city to the world. I just don't feel like it should come at a cost to Vancouver's most vulnerable residents. Vancouver belongs to everyone - not just the rich yuppies who can actually afford tickets to the games.

/end rant


  1. I have to agree with you on the homeless issue. If they can spend that much money on games, then they better fork out a lot to help people off the streets.

  2. I agree with you about the first one! Its sad how the shift of the Olympics has become competition to who can throw the best party.. And now after Beijing, everyone is trying to outshine them. What a world.

  3. Isn't it crazy how an event that is supposed to bring people together ends up tearing apart the host city? I love the Olympics, but the people responsible for planning the games don't seem to have their shit together.

  4. As a B.C.'ian I cringe to see how long we're going to be paying back taxes for a pretty facelift the Olympics will provide. And is it a facelift, so much as a pretty rug to cover the drug/homeless problems that the Lower Mainland faces.

    It may temporarily help the economy(tourism/jobs/etc.), but I don't think the gov't is thinking about the long term effects.

    Sorry, I'll stop adding my rant to your ranr and just say good post.

  5. Just think, your government is doing better than the US lately...we shell out 790 billion and see nothing done, you shell out 1 billion and you get the Olympics...

    we suck.

    in another note, It's kinda pathetic that if you fall asleep in Chicago in the winter on the street you WILL die. Actually, if you fall asleep in the middle of a May night, you still freeze to death.

    Is there room in Canada for me, bflat, and Waldi (the Dachshund)?

  6. I've actually heard a lot about this in the past few months. Isn't there also some question about the Olympic Games violating Canadian equal rights laws, since women aren't allowed to compete in ski jumping? It would definitely tick me off if ANY organization were allowed to come along and violate my country's laws just because they were a "big deal."

    At least the Olympic committee didn't ignore blatant human rights violations by choosing Vancouver, but I definitely understand your concerns. I'd be ticked too, especially at having to pay for it.

  7. I so hear you on this. Especially with the homeless. Government sucks ass sometimes.

  8. As someone who HAS fallen asleep in the dead of winter and woken up alive, I assure you it can be done elsewhere in Canada (in ottawa, if you want to be specific. it just probably takes a lot more blankets ;)

    anyway, I thought the Olympic Village was going to be used as social housing after the games? What happened to that plan?

    The problem with trying to fix the homeless issue is that many homeless just don't want to be 'fixed.' and you can only help those who want it, so....
    (and as a side note, many of my friends who travelled to BC and back refer to Van as a 'black hole', because time just gets sucked away there. Also, the drugs? Insanely cheap.)

    Anyway! I get you with the whole "we have to pay for it" thing. I'd be livid. You should rent out your condo and use the money to escape to Mexico or something ;)

  9. I think part of the ski jumping for women was up in the air, was because there simply aren't as many women ski jumpers, so less competition. Similar to women's hockey, etc.

    Anyways, Hills, I totally agree.
    And I work in, and got my degree in, Tourism Management!!!

  10. I just adore you and your blog. You make me laugh out loud and make me think about things I don't always think about. Keep it up! I read your blog every day!

  11. I work in culture and the save arts movement in Vancouver has been staggering, and people are really and truly scared.

    Because of the amount of focus that's going to be drawn by the Olympics, it's a tradition that no one goes to concerts, ballet, museums, or theatre while it's on. So cultural institutions hemorrhage money over the entirety of the games and end up amassing debt until the games are over.

    Vancouver is easily my favourite city in Canada. I'm *so* hoping that you guys pull through this well, but my big question is who in the hell do they think will come? In 2010 the US might have 20% unemployment and more papers are going to die and be without reporters to send.

  12. the winter games were actually very good for salt lake city, and i kind of felt the same way you do.

    i understand that they actually hid our homeless people during the games. i don't know if that's 100 percent factual or not.