Posts Tagged ‘Vancouver housing’

I have been a bit poor at posting regularily on here during the Winter Olympics here in Vancouver. This city has been crazy and I have been running myself ragged trying to see and do everything!

Starting earlier this month I picked up a gig blogging for Beyond Robson, a Vancouver city happenings kind of site. There are some great writers there and if you are unfamiliar with it, check it out!

In the meantime, here are some links to my latest Olympic-related posts on Beyond Robson.

What the EH is Canadian food?; Beyond Robson – Feb 23, 2010

LiveCity Yaletown Hosts Free Nightly Olympic Concerts; Beyond Robson – Feb 17, 2010

The Vancouver Poverty Olympics; Beyond Robson – Feb 8, 2010

The House of Switzerland; Beyond Robson – Feb 8, 2010

2010 Olympics Inspire Wave of Vancouver Books; Beyond Robson – Feb 5,

Happy readings and enjoy the men’s hockey semi-final tonight, 6pm against Slovakia!!!

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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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One week before Christmas my boyfriend and I graduated from a Kitsilano basement suite – fully equipped with the odd mouse, giant spider and evil mold monster – to the main floor of a duplex type set-up.

 We packed, cleaned, moved, unpacked and cleaned again during the hellish last-minute shopping days before the world’s most ridiculously gluttonous day of the year and the week between Boxing Day and New Years.

 Our excitement over setting up our new abode was quashed from day one.

 Scenario: We get the keys and go take a peek, fully intending to shriek and dance around in the empty space. We are met with bits of plaster covering the carpet in the entranceway caused by what appears to be a steady leak from the attic suite, dust so thick you can draw 2-colour designs on the walls and blinds that appear to have been used as a dustpan. Fresh paint splatters mark the kitchen sink and newish stovetop. The fridge sounds like a rocket blasting off and the ball of dust and hair swept out from under the stove resembles a decent-sized cat.

 We fake smile at each other.

 Several hours are spent readying the place for the arrival of our stuff. Thanks of course, to that person you can count on to assist in any emergency situation with a big smile – MOM. I, of course, groan, whine and curse the entire time we are cleaning.

 We move in, celebrate Christmas out of town for a few days and then return to Vancouver in time to check-off the 2-page cleaning list provided by our outgoing landlord – someone who has never seen the place [honest!] or bothered to seriously fix anything in it. Seriously screwed over in the cleaning department, I stare at the holes where I once had fingernails and pleasant skin around those fingernails (okay, not quite that bad). At this point, I could care less about getting our damage deposit back, but our guilt over leaving this mess for some other poor saps to clean overcomes us and we scrub the crap out of the basement.

 Once settled, we call the new landlord and complain about the state of affairs – promising a handful of photos showcasing the disgusting filth and grime we dealt with upon moving in. We receive many apologies and the promise of possibly having some compensation when we move out, as if they are going to document this discussion and recall it in a couple years.

 The following week we get screwed over by the cable company.

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