Thursday, November 26, 2009

Anti-Olympic Rant 312

Some of you know that I'm REALLY against the 2010 Winter Olympics that will take place in Vancouver in February. I lived through them in Calgary in 1988 and that put me off the whole idea. No Olympic games have ever made money in Canada. Hell, they just finished paying for the 1776 Montreal Olympics a couple of years ago.

They only people who will make money on "The Games" are those in hospitality and retail in the busy areas. Anyone outside the "traffic patterns" is out of luck. For example all the businesses on Cambie St. that were effected by the years of disruption while the Canada Line LRT to the airport was built won't see a penny. Some of those business have closed for good. Others are suing but it will be a long time before they see any money, if ever.

Legislation passed through the B.C. legislature Nov. 17 gives police the power to take homeless people to shelters. Civil rights advocates are calling it the Olympic Kidnapping Act. We've had homeless people spending winters outside for years. I find it suspicious that the law gets past just as the Olympics are coming. I think the law is designed to keep the homeless people out sight of the tourists. When I lived in Calgary police were stationed at every corner leading into Olympic venues to make sure homeless people did not get anywhere near the tourists or media.

Today I found out that the City of Vancouver is closing the Bloedel Conservatory and the Children's Petting Zoo in order to save money. There are over 100 birds in the conservatory and more than 200 animals in the zoo. All of them will need new homes or they might have to be put down. Not to mention that there are people who are now jobless. But the city says it needs to make up for lost revenue. They'll be cutting hours at community centers and canceling volunteer programs.

They may even cut library hours and close the Riley Park Branch entirely. I love the people at the Riley Park Branch. When I lived in the neighbourhood I used to go in a couple of times a week to give the staff a chance to get some loving from which ever PADS puppy I had. Now I only get in about once a month but I feel like I know the women there a bit and I like them. I don't want to see them lose their jobs.

I realize that times are tough. I wouldn't be so pissed off about these cuts if I hadn't just found out that the city of Vancouver bought $377,000 worth of tickets, including 100 Opening Ceremony and 100 Closing Ceremony tickets at up to $1,100 each. That's more than the operating budget of the Conservatory.

The money spent on the games could have gone a long way towards helping homeless people, struggling food banks and an over worked health care system. But no. They had to spend millions on a 16 day party.

Do you really blame me for being pissed off?

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