Sunday, February 07, 2010

Olympics - Party On

The previous post was to give you and idea of the kind of media we have been experiencing in the lead up to the 2010 Olympics. Little wonder that most people are not exactly rejoicing over the soon to be Olympics. What is a wonder is that VANOC and our government can't understand why most of us are not really looking forward to hosting them. 

VANOC has;
Closed our streets
Changed bus routes
Told us to expect 2 hour waits at sky train stations just to get to work and back.
Put in 900 cameras all over the city that we are not sure are going to be gone after the games.
Told volunteers that they have to tape over any logos on their shoes or clothing before coming to work for them for free. 
Closed schools for the period of the games
Filled the streets with military and police
 Closed the sea to sky highway to anyone without a pass even if you live there. No pass no go.
They have sued everyone and anyone who dares even appear to be using their name, the year, or the circles to obtain money even when the name is part of a family business that has been around almost as long as the first olympics!!
They have told us to welcome the world and help tourists etc. while they demand that the Australian team take down their mascot flag from their accommodations.  Why? because VANOC deemed it too commercial.
Forced businesses to close down for two weeks and their employees are unemployed with no way to pay their rent or bills.
Insisted on breaking our laws by having smoking pits for the "Olympic family" at the games venues. 
      It seems that when a city "wins??" the Olympic bid they give up all their rights to VANOC. Worse through out most of the last few years we have heard little about the athletes of whom this is supposed to be about. And even less about sportsmanship or good will. It has been primarily about greed. About contracts for buildings and roads. Who gets them and who doesn't.  About people desperate for affordable places to live while landlords evict tenants so they can rent the buildings for inflated prices to tourists. It's about where they can hide the homeless and mentally ill so the tourist won't see and if they do how can we put a positive spin on all of this. 

        Don't get me wrong I think that the Olympics could be a good thing were it not that there are so many bad things happening to people in my province. We have the lowest minimum wage in the country while we have the highest rate of child poverty. We have  workers who are having their contracts rolled back, teachers laid off and hospital surgeries canceled. while watching our government pour billions into this two week party.

        They keep telling us how this will benefit us all in the end, but all that most people can see is more lay offs, higher taxes and no jobs.

        When I think about all the ways we have been bullied as a citizenry in the last year to accommodate the Olympics and how our city seems taken over by a group of people that most of us will never even see I have to ask myself why we put up with this? Why do people allow themselves to be pushed around by this for the sake of a very small part of the population? What exactly does this teach our children?

        2 comments:

        1. I sympathize because London is hosting the Games in 2012. We plan to be out of town for the duration.

          I don't think anyone really believes that the Games benefit the host country or city, though politicians pretend to believe it. The Games leave massive debts behind them and any profits go into the pockets of big companies.

          The money spent by government on the project (our tax money) could be much better used to deal with need at home.

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