Heather Conn Blogs

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Vancouver’s got its own Checkpoint Charlie

A German friend of mine who lives near Main Street and East 5th Avenue in Vancouver, BC said that it looks like Checkpoint Charlie around 2nd Avenue and Quebec Street. She’s got helicopters flying over her condo about every 20 minutes.

I encourage you to read the article “Class-War Games: The financial and social cost of ‘securing’ the 2010 Olympics”, which appeared in the May/June 2009 issue of Briarpatch Magazine, based in Regina, Sask. The article’s authors, Chris A. Shaw and Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, state: “Olympic boosterism has worked to exclude critical voices and suppress important public policy questions.”

They add: “Growing numbers of people oppose the host of issues that accompany the modern Olympic Games: the commercialization of sport, lack of transparency in government [some  public companies that hold Olympics-related meetings are not taking minutes to leave no record of the discussion], backroom deals for real estate and development interests, exploitative labour standards for migrant workers, promotion of corporate sponsors with appalling human rights and ecological records (including Nike, Shell, Royal Bank, Petro-Canada, Dow Chemical, Teck Cominco, General Electric, General Motors and Coca-Cola), and appropriation of public space.”

Activist Harsha Walia, in a Feb. 8 Vancouver Sun opinion piece, says: “[T]axpayers are the real sponsors of the $6 billion-$7 billion Winter Games.” A January 2010 EKOS poll revealed that 70 per cent of respondents think that too much money is being spent on this months’ Winter Games in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, U.S. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to carry the torch through Stanley Park. Apparently, he’s a good friend of B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. Did Gordo and Arnie make a deal regarding California’s “runaway (film) productions” relocating to Vancouver? Did Gordo promise a sweet I.P.P. deal for California, or a guarantee to prevent the state’s next blackout? Who knows what resources have changed hands between those two?!

February 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm
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