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Vancouver in the funhouse international-media mirror: Part 2

February 4th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Oh boy, to think there’s going to be another four weeks of this. The latest offerings from reporters here and there on our apparently tragic city.

The Guardian, written by local freelancer Lucy Hyslop

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/03/vancouver-winter-olympics-homeless-row

The New York Times, with reporter Greg Bishop, who profiled former mayor Sam Sullivan very sympathetically last week and now quotes him extensively again

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/sports/olympics/05eastside.html

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  • The Guardian article seems to be unclear on whether the “crackdown” on the homeless has happened already, or is just around the corner.

    If it’s happened already, it doesn’t seem to have impacted the media’s ability to find poor unfortunates to quote for these pieces.

    And if it’s just around the corner, you have to wonder if the authorities have left it a little late…

  • Glissando Remmy

    EIGHT,7,6,5,4,3,2,1…The Olympic Countdown Thought of the Day

    “500 sqft downtown Studio during the Games, $ 4’000. A scalper’s dream at the opening ceremonies, $2,000. One hockey semi-final ticket, $1,000. Qualifying stages date at the Oval, $500. Hotdog, beer and tooth pick package, concession stand inside GM Place, $20. VANOC gang sweating profusely in the two digits outside temperature, from under their obligatory Olympic trademarked tuques, scarves and red mittens, while the rest of us are enjoying a nice coffee in the sun…priceless.”

    The Weather is the story in Vancouver! Not the Olympic Games. As it turns out, Mother Nature shows more love to the homeless than all levels of Government combined.

    JUST IN.
    In a rare moment of generosity the IOC officials announced that all tickets to the Women’s Ski Jump event will be donated to various charities. In other news, a yet to be identified member of the City of Vancouver Council has allegedly applied for a middle name change to “Charity”. The Mayor applauded the initiative. His words were: “That ‘a boy!” Also, an undisclosed number of shoeshine boys from around the world were denied entry to Canada on a temporary work visa. They are now suing the BC provincial government for compensation for lost wages, expenses and hurt feelings. They have stated that the slogan “it’s our time to shine” was misleading and unfairly promoted in their countries of origin.

    MISC.
    I have one bedroom available, free for the duration of the Games. It’s about “den” in size; you’ll have to share it with my cat Iggy; so if you are one of Joyce Murray’s Federal Liberals you’ll feel right at home.

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • Lewis N. Villegas

    Thanks for the good spirit, Remmy.

    From the Guardian:

    “All the main partners involved in the games deny this, pointing instead to the planned affordable housing in the athletes’ village, residents being hired to collect rubbish for recycling during the games, and multi- million-dollar revitalisation plans for the area.”

    The only multi-million-dollar revitalization plan for the area I am aware of is the one I posted here, two days ago:

    Planning director’s take on heights, views and Chinatown, post #29

    Needless to say, it is not “official”. From the New York Times:

    “research, published in August in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that addicts given heroin in a clinical setting committed fewer crimes and cost the government less in social services. Some weaned their habit with substitution drugs like methadone. Others learned to maintain their addiction.”

    An important element of treating addiction—I got this from a 60 Minutes report from Holland, at least a decade ago—is stabilizing the patient. Not having to “score” the drug provides a sense of security. An emotional spring board if you will, from where it is possible for some—not all—to move on.

    At my annual check-up, the day it was announced that our courts threw out the challenge to close the safe injection site, my doctor and I discussed addiction (both of us cheering the court ruling).

    He had done work with heroin addicts. 45% were able to switch to methadone. None were able to kick methadone. It was a busy morning in his consultancy, so we did not go on to the next logical step in the discussion: whether or not switching to methadone is a good idea.