Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver homeless’

I know the 2010 Olympics are half over here in Vancouver, but here is some interesting food for thought on the amount of $$ that went into the Games and what else it could have been spent on:

From Mathew Good

The What Ifs…

“What could we have done with all that money? Well….

Healthcare: The cost of the Olympics could have funded the construction of 6 state of the art hospitals to replace St. Paul’s.


Seismic Upgrades For Schools At Risk: The cost of the Olympics could have funded the entire budget of the seismic-upgrading program four times over for schools in British Columbia. As it stands now, only 32 out of hundreds of elementary and secondary schools have been upgraded as of last year.

Education: The cost of the Olympics could cover the four-year tuition fees of 345,383 UBC arts students – or 314,004 UBC science students – or 287,853 UBC engineering students – or 100,963 UBC medical students.
The cost of the Olympics could pay the salaries of UBC’s 587 full professors for 73 years.
The cost of the Olympics could cover the cost of educating every elementary and secondary student in the Province for roughly a year and a half.

Government: The cost of the Olympics could fund the Premier’s office for 500 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have paid the entire public service payroll of British Columbia for 2 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have allowed the Provincial government to waive property tax for 6 years and sales tax for over a year.
The cost of the Olympics could have funded all of the social welfare programs on the Lower Eastside – including food banks and social housing – that receive Federal, Provincial, and Municipal funding for more than 16 years.
The cost of the Olympics could have built roughly 20,000 units of social housing.
The cost of the Olympics could have afforded the city the ability to hire 3,000 new police officers and pay them, with full benefits, for 20 years.

Security: On average, every family in British Columbia will be paying $300 towards security costs during the games. Spread out over the country’s entire population of 34 million, every Canadian would be paying $26 dollars.
During the games, the military presence in Vancouver will be the largest since the Second World War.
The total cost of security is more than VANOC’s initial assessment of what the Olympics as a whole would cost.
$79 million dollars of the security budget is being used to house military and police personnel on three cruise ships.
Security costs include $29 million dollars for new computers and $6 million dollars for new radios.
BC Ferries will receive $15 million dollars for security upgrades even though no events are taking place on any of the coast islands to which they sail.
The Canada Border Services Agency is receiving $15 million dollars in supplemental funding.
The original security budget for the games was $175 million. It is currently hovering around the billion dollar mark.”

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Oh Canada, home of the most politically correct, polite people on the planet. Yup that’s us.

Well, I had a moment of creative (but perhaps, not so politically correct) inspiration a week or so back that caused me to lose it in uncontrollable hysterics on the bus. I was doing that silent laugh, the kind that shakes your body and causes you to turn red in the face and cry because you can’t breathe. I could barely get a few words out, let alone explain my entire thought process to my poor man, who just stared at me like I had completely lost my marbles.

We had just spent an hour or so down at the official Olympic merch shop downtown, gorging on “cheese” in the form of toques, key chains, pins, etc, so I was flying high on Olympic love.

…Yes, one day on the bandwagon, one day off.  That’s how we Vancouverites roll, no? (Just ask the Canucks).

Anyways, for whatever reason, my Olympic excitement and resentment morphed into an image of Vancouver’s homeless wandering the streets dressed head-to-toe in Olympic clothing set to Nina Simone’s Sinnerman. Picture the bowler hat scene at the end of Thomas Crown Affair…We could shoot a couple-minute YouTube video of Olympic clad homeless pushing shopping carts down alleys, past bins and right up to the doors of the shiny new venues all set to the frantic beat of Sinnerman.

I doubt The Bay nor VANOC would sponsor the needed outfits, but golly it sure could be a social media sensation!

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