I read this article over at the TYEE - Homeless Hell Hole - and it got me thinking more about the Olympic schmozzle.
Judy Graves has spent the past dozen years touring Vancouver's dark parks, garbage-strewn alleys, and mouldy abandoned buildings. Graves, who co-ordinates the city's pioneering street outreach program, said the roughest place...is located directly beneath the glistening dome at Telus World of Science.Here, rents have gone up, but thankfully, we have rent controls. RE prices are another matter.
"This is the worst," Graves said...on a tour of the murky labyrinth at the eastern edge of False Creek. "This is the place that scares me the most."
It's a place that one must be either mentally ill or drug addicted to endure. Yet..there is no shortage of such visitors.
And it's a place literally soaked in irony: even as the Olympic Village for the 2010 Winter Games rises next door, the piers beneath what was the signature structure of Expo 86 have become a last refuge for Vancouver's most desperate residents.
...Some Vancouver parents may find it upsetting that such misery endures within sight of any observant child gazing out the Science World windows or playing in the adjoining park. But experts who study the long-term effects of mega events such as Expo 86 and the 2010 Olympics would not find it surprising.
The Olympic games alone have displaced more than two million people during the past 20 years, according to a 2007 report by the Geneva-based Centre of Housing Rights and Evictions. Very few of those evictions were caused directly by Olympic organizers making way for venue construction. The vast majority were instead the result of speculative development in advance of the Games themselves. (emboldening mine)
In Sydney, for example, rents rose by 40 per cent during a five-year period leading up to the 2000 Summer Games.
These lines inspired this post;
As recently as last June, the Vancouver Police Department's marine unit was called to rescue a homeless man who became stranded at high tide.I can relate to that guy (though thankfully, I am not homeless), in that I feel like I have become trapped in a decrepit rental by the rising tide of RE values.
"A fella' who was living in the area went under there at low tide, then the tide came in and trapped him,"
It is said that a rising tide will float all ships, but I would argue that it will also drown a lot of rats. A lot of those ships of fools will also be smashed on the rocks of ignorance when the tide floods out.
Nice work Poole, Rennie, Campbell, et al. It really must be the Best Place on Earth - people will even sleep under piers, with rats, to live here.