By guest blogger Alison@Creekside
United Nations envoy Miloon Kothari, on a tour of Canada to examine homelessness, said he visited Vancouver specifically to assess whether the Olympic bid’s pledges “are being kept.”
“Vancouver said, ‘If we get the Games, we commit to leaving a positive legacy,’ and we [at the UN] are taking that at face value,” Kothari said. “So far in Vancouver, there aren’t many results on the ground, but we still have some time to go.”
Kothari had previously issued a report that said “the resources generated by [the Olympics] should be used to improve the adverse housing situation in Vancouver.” He told The Vancouver Sun that excess funds should be spent on “people who need their lives improved” and “not go into the hands of a few individuals.”
“But our mandate is to promote the development of sport in Canada, as governed by the Host City Contract and Multiparty Agreements,” said Donna Wilson, a Senior VP for VANOC. “It’s already committed that our surplus will go towards amateur sport.”
Wilson has previously enthused that “The road to 2010 is both long and wide, and there’s room for everyone.”
That’s nice, Donna, but what we’re actually looking for here is rooms for everyone.
Dan Rather is here filming “a neighbourhood of abject poverty surrounded by the five-star hotels that will be booked solid during the Olympics” (No way he’s gonna miss all those dead First Nations sex-trade workers, Donna.) Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund notes the Downtown Eastside is “a two-kilometre-square stretch of decaying rooming houses, with a hepatitis C rate of just below 70% and an HIV prevalence rate the same as Botswana’s.”
Well, Donna, I’m guessing free hockey sticks and being assured of adequate practice time down at the rink is not only not a burning issue with the majority of our local world-class ghetto residents, but it isn’t likely to be one with the international journalists filing Olympics human interest stories either.
Light an Olympic torch under someone’s Tourism Canada ass, Linda — ya still got two years to turn this thing around.
First posted in Creekside.