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Welfare line-ups, tent cities seen as risks at Games time

February 2nd, 2010 · 13 Comments

I discovered this morning, after my story on the housing ministry’s risk-management plan for the Olympics appeared in the Globe, that Sean Holman of was actually the original source of the documents that wound their way to me. So credit should go to Sean for doing the freedom-of-information request on this one.

On to the story, the five-page list of potential housing/homelessness issues that could be a problem during the Games seems fairly predictable: worries that there will not be enough shelter space, worries that there will be evictions of welfare clients and no places for them to go, and so on. The two issues that the risk planners were worried would generate negative publicity were the tent cities and the line-ups.

Interestingly, one thing that they didn’t seem to be concerned about was a headline saying “BC government fails to meet housing commitment promised in bid book.” Instead, it’s the physical scenes — not the likelihood that some German or French reporter will go digging through old documents — that generate all the concern. But given the way advocates are hammering the housing issue, I wouldn’t be surprised if that point starts to come up.

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