Canadian Social Research Links

The Vancouver Olympics
The Poverty Olympics

Sites de recherche sociale au Canada

Les Olympiques de Vancouver
les Olympiques antipauvreté

Updated June 1, 2010
Page révisée le 1er juin 2010

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2010 Winter Olympics - The official site of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games


From CBC British Columbia:

Protest shuts down Olympic Village condo sale
May 15, 2010
Protesters crashed an open house at Vancouver's Olympic Village on Saturday, forcing police to lock the area down. Brandishing signs and chanting, dozens of people were there to protest what they say is a lack of social housing at the development. (...) About 475 units at the $1.1-billion waterfront development in False Creek went on the market Saturday. Another 260 were sold during pre-sales in 2007. About 250 rental units will be reserved for civic workers and low-income residents. The project has been mired in controversy. Last month, the city voted to halve the amount of social housing it had promised to provide in the Olympic Village development. The project also had to be rescued by the City of Vancouver with loan guarantees in order to get it ready for the Olympic Games in February.

Cut Olympic Village social housing: report
April 20, 2010
(...) "It's unfortunate that we couldn't have more social housing on the site. The financial realities are forcing us to scale back somewhat," Vancouver Mayor Gregor Roberston told reporters.


Budget 2010 – Building a Prosperous British Columbia (PDF - 215K, 2 pages)
March 2
News Release
VICTORIA — Setting the foundation for decades of renewed economic growth, protecting vital services, adding to British Columbia’s competitiveness and building on the tremendous momentum of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are core elements of the 2010 provincial budget tabled in the B.C. Legislature today by Finance Minister Colin Hansen.
British Columbia Budget 2010
March 2, 2010
- main budget page, includes all budget papers


What is wrong with the Olympics?
The Olympics are not about the human spirit and have little to do with athletic excellence. They are a multi-billion dollar industry backed by real estate, construction, hotel, tourism and media corporations, and powerful elites working hand in hand with government officials and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
So what's wrong?
(Click the above link to read the details for each item below)
* Occupation of Stolen Native Land
* “Security” and Eroding Civil Liberties
* Environmental Destruction and Waste
* Corporatization
* Damage to Communities
* Honouring Exploitation
* Lack of Affordable Housing
* Public Costs and Debt
The Olympic Resistance Network


Olympic Tent Village:
Behind the Scenes of the
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
(three-minute video)

Olympic red tents wrap-up (14-minute Flash podcast)
By Laurel Hogg
March 3, 2010
Olympic Canadian Pavilion wrapped up in red tent protest. We talked to John Richardson about how the campaign went and what is next for Pivot and the National Housing Strategy protest.


February 28, 2010
Chronicles of the Olympic Tent Village
Vancouver Media Co-op

Olympic Tent Village:
Behind the Scenes of the
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
(three-minute video)

February 28, 2010
Chronicles of the Olympic Tent Village

Heading to the Downtown Eastside for the swankiest party of the Games
Bob Rennie’s bash drew Iggy, Olympians, and protesters

by Anne Kingston
February 25, 2010
Is Bob Rennie trying to save Vancouver's Downtown Eastside or to gentrify it?
Macleans magazine

Sort-of-related link - another kind of party, like an allegory:

A Party of Olympian Proportions
February 24, 2010
Imagine Vancouver like this GIANT apartment building, y'see...
Vancouver Media Co-op
"Local Independent News"

Homes, not Games! Pro-social housing actions sweep Vancouver's streets
By Mara Kardas-Nelson
February 17, 2010
Coordinated actions concerning housing and homelessness are sweeping the streets of Vancouver at the height of the 2010 Olympic Games, with hundreds of activists and handfuls of organizations campaigning for greater access to social housing. The Games are being used as a platform to garner greater media and public attention about the homelessness crisis in Canada.
rabble blogs
rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful and opinionated progressive activists and commentators.
[ - "news for the rest of us" ]

More Olympics coverage from (most of which you won't see in mainstream media)

Related links:

Red Tent 2010 - Housing is a Right
Red Tent is national campaign that invites the participation of all persons and organizations wishing to end homelessness in Canada. Our goal is to persuade the federal government to enact a funded National Housing Strategy that will end homelessness and ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for all persons living in Canada.

2010 Olympics Oppressometer
The “2010 Oppressometer” is an online tool developed to monitor civil liberties during the Olympic period. The site is a tongue-in-cheek take on the US Homeland Security threat levels, documenting civil liberty concerns in the months leading up to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The Oppressometer is a project of COPE, the Coalition of Progressive Electors. For forty years, COPE has been a democratic, community-based coalition of individuals and organizations.
Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE)

NOT the mainstream media:

* 2010 Olympic coverage from The Tyee

* 2010 Olympic coverage from The Georgia Strait

Poverty and protest: the media focus on the Vancouver Olympics
February 9, 2010
As media from around the country and around the world focus on Vancouver and the Winter Olympics, they are publishing stories about poverty, homelessness and protest. PovNet has prepared a collection of links to some of the stories published over the last few days.
[Click the link above to access all of the articles below.]
* Winter Olympics on slippery slope after Vancouver crackdown on homeless | The Guardian
* In the Shadow of the Olympics | The New York Times
* Give A Home to Us Not The Olympics, Say Protesters | The New York Times
* Vancouver's 'Poverty Olympics' Protest Millions Spent On Winter Games | The Huffington Post
* Vancouver's poor protest against Olympic largesse | ABC News
* Estimates of Olympic protests increase as Vancouver Games approach | CP
* Activists stage 'Poverty Olympics' in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside | The Vancouver Sun
* Stop civil obedience: Fight the Games | The Vancouver Sun
* The Vancouver Olympic Blues | Dave Zirin
* Protesters target Olympic torch run | CBC
* End poverty. It's not a game: The Poverty Olympics | Rabble
* When Snow Melts: Vancouver’s Olympic Crackdown | The Nation
* Vancouver Olympic blues | RussianToday (video)
* Vancouver Tries To Polish 'Skid Road' For Olympics | NPR (radio)


2010 Poverty Olympics - the OTHER Vancouver..

The Vancouver Poverty Olympics are brought to you by a group of concerned citizens and community groups who oppose the 2010 Winter Games because public dollars could be more justly spent on ending poverty and homelessness.
- incl. links to : * Home * World Class Poverty * Land of Plenty * Broken Promises * Take Action * The Games * Who We Are
"Come out for free family fun with a conscience on February 7, 2010
at the Japanese Language School (487 Alexander St., Vancouver) from 1 - 3 p.m.
Watch the Games (Welfare Hurdles, Skating around Poverty, and more), cheer the
Mascots (Itchy the Bedbug, Creepy the Cockroach and Chewy the Rat), boo the Bad Guys
(Mr. Bid and Mr. Con Dough), sing along with the Poverty Anthem, eat cake and be merry!

Poverty Olympics Blog
- dozens of links to articles in the media, news releases and related resources concerning the Poverty Olympics

Poverty Olympics to be held
in Vancouver days before 2010 Winter Games

January 16, 2010
By Stephen Hui
Five days before the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, community groups will stage a protest event designed to internationally embarrass the Canadian, B.C., and city governments into addressing poverty. The 2010 Poverty Olympics, the third edition of the annual street-theatre event, will take place on February 7 at the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (487 Alexander Street) in the Downtown Eastside.
Georgia Straight

Poverty Olympics partners:

* Raise the Rates is a coalition working towards a five-point poverty reduction strategy in BC. Raise the Rates is lead organizer of the 2010 Poverty Olympics and the Provincial Poverty Olympics Torch Relay.

*Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House

* The Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) is a project of the board of the Carnegie Community Centre Association. CCAP works mostly on housing, income, and land use issues in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver so the DTES can remain a low income friendly community.

* The British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society exists to enable persons living with AIDS and HIV disease to empower themselves through mutual support and collective action.

* Streams of Justice
Streams of Justice is a christian social justice movement that has as its fundamental concern the realization of human communities marked by liberating justice and life-giving love.

* Vancouver Area Network of Drugs Users (VANDU)
VANDU is a group of users and former users who work to improve the lives of people who use illicit drugs through user-based peer support and education.

[ 2009 Poverty Olympics - Last year's event in Vancouver ]

Poverty Olympics Social Index
- baker's dozen of factoids intended to draw links between the cost of the Olympics and the costs of poverty and welfare, e.g. the face value of the best seat at the Olympic opening ceremony is $1,100, which is almost $200 more than the maximum monthly welfare amount payable in BC to a single person with disability.

Downtown Eastside
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Downtown Eastside (DTES) is the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is known as "Canada's poorest postal code".

2010 Homeless Champions
(Life in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver)

"This website is dedicated to telling the stories of the unfortunate individuals living in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in the hope that awareness of this problem will spur people to get involved, to let all levels of government know that something has to be done to alleviate this misery rooted in addiction, homelessness and depravity. To point the way to recovery from addiction, which we believe is the root of most of this situation. With the 2010 Olympics coming to Vancouver it is our mandate to record the transition and the extreme changes that are even now occurring and will continue to unfold in the Downtown Eastside."

B.C. introduces controversial homeless law
October 29, 2009
Darcy Wintonyk
The B.C. government introduced a controversial law Thursday that allows police to force homeless people to go to a shelter - but won't give officers the power to make them stay. Homeless advocates and provincial civil rights watchdogs have denounced the legislation, saying it is little more than a veiled attempt to clean up Vancouver streets before the 2010 Olympic Games.

Feb 16, 2010
Olympic Games: Stark Contrast to Poverty and Violence
Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Campbell

Dear Sirs,
400,000 visitors will come to British Columbia from around the world for the 2010 Olympics. We can show them beautiful mountains, new sports venues, and a new subway line. We can show them the extraordinary talents of Canadian athletes and artists. Tragically, the splendour and expense of the Olympic Games stand in stark contrast to the poverty and violence experienced by the most marginalized women in this rich country.
On February 2, 2010, the BC CEDAW Group, with the endorsement of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and many other organizations, filed a report with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on these issues. [see the link below]
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
B.C. CEDAW Group
[CEDAW=United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women]
The B.C. CEDAW GROUP is a coalition of women’s non-governmental and non-profit
British Columbia organizations that are committed to advancing the equality interests of
women and girls.

The report:

nothing to report (PDF - 83K, 15 pages)
Submission of the B.C. CEDAW Group
To the United Nations Committee on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
A Report on Progress in Implementing Priority Recommendations made by
the Committee in its 2008 Concluding Observations on Canada

(...) The Government of British Columbia has failed to act on either of these central issues:
• women’s poverty and the lack of adequate social assistance, and
• police and government failure to prevent or effectively investigate violence against Aboriginal women and girls.
The Government of British Columbia stands in violation of its obligations under Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

9 February 2010
Information provided by the Government of the
Canada under the follow-up procedure to the
concluding observations of the Committee
(PDF - 121K, 39 pages)
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Interim Report in follow-up to the review of Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports
February 2010
On October 22, 2008, Canada appeared before the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (the Committee) for the review of its Sixth and Seventh Reports on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In its concluding observations following the review, the Committee asked Canada to submit, within one year, information with respect to two of its recommendations (paragraphs 14 and 32).
Additional information can be found in
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on CEDAW

2010 Winter Olympics: Progressive Analysis and Commentary
The CCPA has been publishing studies and commentary about the 2010 Olympics since 2003.
Check out these links to find out more about the economic and social impact of the upcoming Winter Games.
- incl. links to:

Blog posts, e.g.:
First the party, then the hangover, by Marc Lee, January 12, 2010

Editorials, e.g.:
The Olympics, Housing and Homelessness in Vancouver
, by David Eby, February 2008

Studies, e.g.:
Olympic Costs & Benefits: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the
Proposed Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games

by Marvin Shaffer, Alan Greer, Celine Mauboules, February 2003

News Releases, e.g.:
Olympics won't bring employment boom
February 21, 2003

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - BC Office

Non-CCPA Resources:
BC Civil Liberties Association: news releases on Olympics and civil liberties

Vancouver Poverty Olympics: pointing out that Olympic money could be better spent on ending poverty and homelessness

Clearing the Hurdles: how major sportswear brands rate on workers' rights

The Tyee's Olympics coverage

Vancouver Observer's Olympics coverage

B.C. introduces controversial homeless law
October 29, 2009
By Darcy Wintonyk
The B.C. government introduced a controversial law Thursday that allows police to force homeless people to go to a shelter - but won't give officers the power to make them stay. Homeless advocates and provincial civil rights watchdogs have denounced the legislation, saying it is little more than a veiled attempt to clean up Vancouver streets before the 2010 Olympic Games.

The legislation:
Assistance to Shelter Act (Bill 18, 2009 - First Reading)
"Explanatory Note: This Bill establishes a scheme for issuing and cancelling extreme weather alerts and enables police officers to transport persons at risk to emergency shelters when extreme weather alerts are in effect."
Ministry of Housing and Social Development


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