Saturday, December 16, 2006


I am posting some clippings from The Republic of East Vancouver newspaper that reflect some of my feelings about the Olympics, the changes foisted upon this city by corporate kleptocrats, self-serving politicians, etc. There are some strong statements, but if one doesn't shout, who will hear?

These writings (albeit some of which are a bit out of context, and edited to my own purposes) reflect how we came to where we are. This insanity did start shortly after the announcement of Vancouver's 2010 bid being accepted. I foresaw where that would take us, but no one seemed to care. I am not entirely sure if the Olympics are 100% causative though, because there is a global RE boom, it's just that things have really gone off the rails here.

We live in a nation dominated by salesmanship (commercial, political, religious). The salesman's credo is: a facile mendacity trumps a stubborn truth, because an honest mode of being would cause the buyer to become wary of the giddy lie of the pitch.

and -

We've become ... a land of suckers and criminals with a cultural landscape peopled by corporate scam artists

and -

All human beings have a talent for denial, but we ... have turned denial into genius. There is no need to burn books if the public is ignorant of their existence. link

From another article in the same publication;

Like America’s commander in chief, BC’s elected premiere is a privileged, nepotistic, drunk-driving, beady-eyed corporate crony. But the similarities don’t end there. Though it is beyond Gordo’s purview to wage war on foreign nations (that’s Harper’s job), the Work Less Party’s brave new documentary, Five Ring Circus, exposes the myriad ways that our government is using the 2010 Olympics to wreak havoc on BC itself.

The movie centers around the well-publicized mandate to make this the greenest, most sustainable Olympics yet. With pinpoint precision, the film goes through the specific promises, one by one, and reveals our government’s vicious mendacity in filling the pockets of real estate, construction, and hospitality interests under the absurd guise of showcasing Vancouver to the world. But the movie makes it clear that the insidious logic of this operation is that we have to ruin North America’s most livable city in order for it to have its dubious day in the sun.

Who would have guessed that the construction firms that lit up their cranes with YES 2010 signs didn’t have our best interests in mind? The ugly truth is that the construction and real estate tycoons care about Vancouverites about as much as Boeing and Halliburton care about the troops and taxpayers.

and -

There’s another dimension to the hideous Yaletownification of Vancouver that the film astutely addresses. As Vancouver’s affordable housing is converted into condos and the cost of living in this already expensive city continues to rise, a gulf is opening up between the haves and the have-nots. And this is having all kinds of hitherto unthought of repercussions on Vancouver’s vitality. link

I have been wanting to rant about the Olympics for quite a while, but I become apoplectic when doings so, and I don't think you are interested in hysteria. Just slightly less than 50% of Vancouverites voted against the Olympics, and interestingly, the divide was between the West Side, and the East Side.

We have had a $2.5 billions boondoggle shoved up our arses in the RAV line, when an at-grade LRT on existing rights-of-way would have cost as little as 1/10 of the RAV. Whose pockets are getting fat on this huge disruption of hundreds of businesses, and traffic nightmares while we meekly bask in our "good fortune"?


Anonymous said...

Not to let Gordo off the hook, but let's not forget who put in the Olympic bid in the first place. Yes folks, the Olympics are the last Glendoggle.

I think after the two weeks of fun in the snow Vancouver is going to see its biggest hangover since the Great Depression, and not just in real estate.

wannaget2calgary said...

I think after the two weeks of fun in the snow Vancouver is ...

Are you sure there'll be snow? Real or artificial snow for events for sure. Apart from events, I expect grey, overcast skies, short days, and rain. Not fun.

wannaget2calgary said...

Forgot to mention ... Good post. Struck a resonant chord. Thanks.

WoodenHorse said...


But really, this is a fast car for a small penised city. Come oooonnn, you're thinking it too.

WoodenHorse said...

Think about it. How often have you heard a New Yorker or a Londoner proclaiming their city worldclass?

Grover Borequist said...

Vancouverites are either contentedly optimistic fools or angst-ridden materialists or just plain stoners who never grew out of their first year university marxist phase. In any case the problem with this city is collective narcissism and hubris that allows the majority of the population to delude itself into thinking that a city where losing 29% of its corporate HQs to other cities could possibly sustain an economy where an inflated real estate market couldn't possibly face a decline in the face of a 1.5 billion dollar capital expenditure for what amounts to a 2 week party.

Didn't we have a fucking referendum on the olympics? 64% of vancouverites voted yes. I really think the blame on Campbell is misplaced. We live in a democracy folks, thus we deserve the government we elect as well as the outcomes of our referendums.

It pains me to think of how much we'd be spending on the olympics if the NDP were running this circus. Imagine what labour costs would be if all the imported labour were unionised on top of the inflated costs the market now commands?

Gianni33 said...

examples of dillusional people we share this area with:

$2800/mo for a 3 bedroom condo in richmond

$2700/mo for a 2 bedroom "penthouse" (1070 sqft) in richmond

compare that with this 29th floor yaletown waterfront sub-penthouse suite, fully furnished 2 bed + den for $2800/mo

LOL some people need a reality check.

Anonymous said...

Imagine what labour costs would be if all the imported labour were unionised on top of the inflated costs the market now commands?

Aren't the Olymprojects in fact unionized? All the other major stuff to date has been.

Also supply and demand tells us that unionization only results in inflated costs if there is excess supply of labour. If there is a shortage the market will bid up the cost of non-union labour. Like in Alberta.

solipsist said...

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments thus far.

I am in the middle of emptying my machine to take it in for repairs, and will get back to this later - when I get another machine hooked up.

rentah said...

If you have any doubt whatsoever that the Vancouver RE market is overvalued, even by world standards, take a look at this survey of $1 million USD home around the world .

My only regret is that they didn't include a Point Grey knockdown in the list.

Anonymous said...

The majority of vancouverites are happy the olympics are coming. The republic of east vancouver is a left wing rag that in no way shares the feelings of the majority of people in ths city. I am personally thrilled that the east side is gentrifying. the more poor people that are priced out of the city the better in my opinion. Let them live in the suburbs or better yet back east.

patiently waiting said...

anon 11:26am:

Nah, I'd rather see you leave Vancouver. Please go now.

Anonymous said...

The majority of vancouverites are happy the olympics are coming.




Grover Borequist said...

7:31am, I was making reference to the imported labour being used to build the RAV line, who are in fact not unionised. Some union leaders were lamenting the fact that these workers were being paid less than market value because they weren't unionised. I don't think the labour market in Vancouver is zero sum game, especially when mandatory unionisation can be circumvented and labour can be imported from other countries.

Grover Borequist said...

11:26am, while the poor people seem to be being pushed out of Vancouver, it doesn't necessarily imply that smart people are filling this void. This is readily apparent by the willingness of supposedly intelligent and rational people willing to support the olympics whom our auditor general has confirmed, cannot do simple math.

Uncertain Buyer said...

I guess some people think they are "Wealthy" when they take out a 30 Year 0 Down Mortgage to afford RE that they really can't afford.

stavrosthewonderchicken said...

No matter how much I agree with the sentiments, I can't get past writing that bad:

pinpoint precision
specific promises
vicious mendacity
absurd guise
insidious logic
dubious day
hideous Yaletownification
hitherto unthought of repercussions

No noun without an adjective, our rallying cry!

(Ah well, I wrote like that when I was 18, too, I guess.)

wannaget2calgary said...

(Ah well, I wrote like that when I was 18, too, I guess.)

and now?

wannaget2calgary said...

I am personally thrilled that the east side is gentrifying. the more poor people that are priced out of the city the better in my opinion. Let them live in the suburbs or better yet back east.

Alternative scenario: they will refuse to live in the suburbs. They will live in your neighbourhood in cardboard shelters. They will break into your home, trash your car and molest you on the way to work. Eventually you will abandon Vancouver and squatters will take over your property.

I am not advocating this, merely wondering if it will happen.

Bad government --> economic instability --> social disorder --> lawlessness --> chaos --> Vancouver in 2010.

Clarke said...

I think the high point of the 2010 hysterics was when it was pointed out that the positive economic returns of the Olympics were based upon assumptions of greatly increased tourism over the 25 years after the event.....

Like real estate, the actual impact of 2010 is hard to discuss rationally owing to the fact that many people believe all the hype.

chrisnott said...

anon 11:26am,

Who's going to serve you your no-fat soy latte if all the working poor are priced out of the city? Who will service your Lexus? Who will schlep your garbage? Pack your groceries? Clean your house? Cook your meals? Do your secretarial work? In short, who will support your life style?

Also, I remember when the city was shut down for the Clinton-Gorby summit back in the early 90s. The Olympics will be worse. No-one in Vancouver will be able to afford to see them and no-one will be able to get any work done during them. The city will suffer 2 weeks of security gridlock. Wonder how much it will cost the businesses of this city? I plan to not be here.

blacknbrownedout said...

In short, who will support your life style?
The employers will apply to the federal government to declare these jobs under labour shortage pressure and will receive an exemption to import temporary workers.

Farfetched but check out the list of "Occupations under Pressure" (cue Queen) for BC.

Anonymous said... I long for these &%$#&%Olympics to be done with...bring on the inevitable "hype hangover" and return to reality based RE markets.

Does such a wish make me a "bad British Columbian" ?

Jesse said...

"Didn't we have a $%^&ing referendum on the olympics? 64% of vancouverites voted yes."

Too bad the other 2.5 million voters in the province were not awarded the same opportunity.

wannaget2calgary said...

We live in a democracy folks, thus we deserve the government we elect

True enough. For me the problem is that people actually believed what the government said. So the rest of us have to pay for the fact that most Vancouverites got suckered in. Happens all the time and it really rots my socks.

ReductiMat said...

Solipsist, can you please turn Anonymous comments off?

Ignomony is bliss said...

Solipsist, can you please turn Anonymous comments off?

I disagree. Its obviously up to Solipsist, but even though some of these comments are offensive, they only reflect poorly on those that say them.

The glitter-chasing apartment hamsters that say things like "It's time to send the retarded to the clinics" are the same people that will opt to shut down 'the clinics' rather than pay for them with their hard earned tax dollars. They are short-sighted nincompoops living in tiny overpriced cages believing that if only 'the poor' weren't taking all of their money they could afford that humvee.

Life in prison for drug dealers? OK, but it sure would cost us a lot less to provide treatment and liveable welfare. But anyone that truely thinks that through isn't going to make a very good sock-puppet for the get-(me)-rich-quick scammers that pump up things like stock and real estate bubbles.

solipsist said...

I'm back.

Thanks for all the good commentary. I did axe a few pointless comments by anonymous posters. Not too bad all in all.

I do wish that anonymous posters would venture to make up a name - any name - that we could at least differentiate them.

The anon's haven't ben a huge problem, and there are a few good anon. comments, so I will let it slide for a bit.

New post coming...

Anonymous said...

Good to see you still believe in free speech! I didn't even say anything controversial in my post, but like any good regime you shut out anyone with a differing opinion. That's really big of you! I guess it is easier to sound like you know what you are talking about when you only publish what your cronies say, right??? Pathetic!

ReductiMat said...

No, what's pathetic is people who post anonymously to a private blog complaining about not having their voice heard.

Grow a pair, pick an alias and start your own bloody blog.

I promise I'll be the first to post a vitriolic, ad hominem laced comment.

solipsist said...

anon. -

Oh yes, I do believe in free speech, I just don't like intolerance and incitement to hurt those already in a world of hurt.

I can tolerate my own intolerance, just not yours. Your comments were unnecessary, and uncivil. In the sidebar to the right I ask that comments be civil. Go to Jerry Springer's blog if you want to talk trash.

BTW, I don't have any idea what I'm talking about. I never claimed to.