To keep the crankiness rolling…

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Affordable Housing, originally uploaded by Photocat62.

…here’s a tidbit on just one of the social effects of the Olympics, reported in that notorious pinko rag the International Business Times:

The Olympic Games have displaced more than 2 million people in the last 20 years, mostly minorities such as the homeless and poor, a rights group said Tuesday.

Some 1.5 million people will have been displaced by the Beijing Games alone, according to a report by the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions.

…The three-year study covered seven past and future Olympic host cities – Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London.

The report, titled “Fair Play for Housing Rights: Mega-Events, Olympic Games and Housing Rights,” also examines other major international events such as the soccer World Cup, World Expos, IMF/World Bank conferences and even beauty pageants such as the Miss World and Miss Universe contests.

The study says that large-scale events often lead to rising housing costs, resulting in forced evictions, displacement and criminalization of homelessness.

Oh well, not here in sunny progressive Vancouver, home to the 2010 games. (Am I allowed to type 2010 games on my blog? Will the copyright police come get me?) When the city and province bid on the international mega-spectacle, it explicitly promised to use the games as a mechanism to solve our existing shocking homelessness problem, one so neglected that it is rightfully drawing international attention.

Yeah, there was a whole lotta happy talk when the bid was being prepared, and later sold to the public. Forget the happy talk:

In a series of 6-5 votes, the NPA strong-armed Vancouver City Council into approving a misleading report drafted in the office of Housing Minister Rich Coleman and approved by the organizers of the 2010 games (VANOC). The report, awkwardly titled the Joint Partner Response to the Inner-City Inclusive Commitments (ICI) Housing Table Report, asserts that the housing recommendations developed for VANOC are “not binding.”

…The Non-Partisan Alliance’s party-line votes came after a half-day of passionate public testimony, in which Vancouver citizens implored council to reject VANOC’s draft report and invite senior governments to a sit-down. Mayor Sullivan rolled out of council chambers during the second speaker, and remained missing-in-action for the remaining four hours of public testimony.

One of the many presentations that Sullivan refused to hear was a plan presented by Pivot Legal Society under which new homeless housing could be paid for out of existing provincial, city and VANOC funds. Pivot and 2010 Watch released documents on Thursday that they say show the city will earn $64.5 million from development of the Olympic Village, which is now under construction at Southeast False Creek.

I want it on record that I am constructively dealing with Olympic reality on a personal level. Our family intends to rent our place (conveniently close to all major Olympic venues!) at a severe price-gouging rate, hopefully inflated sufficiently for three plane tickets to some country warm and sensible enough not to care about this cultural clusterbomb. Never let it be said that I’m not willing sell out if the price is right! That’s why I live in Van Rock City.

Anyhow, enjoy the bobsledding everyone! And be sure to check out the Downtown Eastside when you visit our beautiful city.

About Brian

I am a Strategist and Discoordinator with UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. My main blogging space is Abject Learning, and I sporadically update a short bio with publications and presentations over there as well...
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One Response to To keep the crankiness rolling…

  1. You’re gonna get it. They’ve trademarked “2″, “0″, and “1″ in any combination, so your mention of “2010″ is a blatant violation of Olympic trademarks. As is your reckless usage of the words “Vancouver”, “games”, and “misleading”

    Your blatant flouting of IOC trademarks is hindering the spirit of amateur sport and global cooperation. You would do right to cease and desist, immediately.

    Think of the amateur athletes you’re harming by this action!

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