I am looking forward to the Olympic Games, and I believe I reflect the feelings of a majority of British Columbians on the topic. I was happy when Vancouver won the bid; I hope they do Vancouver/Whistler proud; and I will relish every medal captured by Canada … especially the Gold Medal in Hockey.
And yet, I understand why the latest poll shows British Columbians are less enthusiastic than other Canadians about this world event that will be held right here: I blame Gordon Campbell.
The Premier, in his rush to the podium spotlight, has disrespected the people … and they are mad.
While taxpayers have seen BILLIONS spent on facilities for the games, MILLIONS on VIP tickets, MILLIONS more to be spent on parties and receptions for the well-connected … they have also witnessed cuts in school programs, slashes to all kinds of important community programs for those not so privileged as those close to the Games , thousands of cancelled surgeries, and now, the announcement that 800 Vancouver teachers will be laid off for lack of funds … a full 20 per cent of the city’s educational force.
At a time when there’s still plenty of money for a $600 MILLION new roof for a stadium! Are they nuts??? Or just ignorant and arrogrant?
All directed by a man whose government LIED to the voters about the projected size of the deficit before the election and LIED to BC restaurateurs during the campaign about the HST. And don’t forget the disgraceful handling of the Paramedics dispute.
And whose repeated appeals for reason and reconsideration have fallen on deaf ears.
It is true, of course, that the economy/revenues have taken a hit since the bid was won. If the premier had forced VANOC to tone down some of the hoopla and extravagance surrounding the partying and the pampering of the I-O-C memebrs, instead of slashing at kids/education again, he could have actually increased public support. Instead his government continues to do the opposite, with every sign it will get even worse after the athletes/delegates jet away.
Yet the media pundits wonder why the people in B.C. are not enthused???
You cannot separate the two: only in countries under corrupt ruthless regimes do you see the “haves” frolic and enjoy the good life without a care while people around them suffer and go without.
No caring community of people can party and play comfortably when they hear, see or read almost every day in the newspapers about THEIR own government shelling it out by the BILLIONS, let’s face it … on non-essentials … on one hand, while telling the kids, the poor, the sick THEY will have to do with less, or nothing at all.
And lie and deceive them openly in the process.
We never heard of such a wide disparity occurring in New York state during the Lake Placid Games; these things going on in Alberta for the Calgary games; or, the same wide division of society leading up to or during the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Maybe that’s why people there were more supportive.
And they probably didn’t have VANOC ..which has been allowed by the government to almost run wild with overkill restrictions and bully-like tactics that are needlessly causing MANY MORE people to hate the games.
Do will really need to ruin the business of dozens of family-run shops WAY DOWN at Granville between 60th and 72nd … by banning parking in front of their stores. Ridiculous bullying!
And Vanoc’s zealous pursuit of local retailers for displaying almost anything Olympic has soured many as well.
And after the Games… it will all get much worse. The bills will come in; the true cost of holding not only the Olympics, but all the wasteful partying excesses with public dollars will be added up … and once more the taxpayers, hospital workers, teachers and the working class will be … not asked …. but forced, probably through more dictatorial-style legislation, to pay for the costs.
So I will enjoy watching the fantastic skills and abilities of the world’s best winter sports athletes ..and marvel at them all. And pull for CANADA in every event.
But please, media pundits, wallowing in your own media freebies, passes, jackets, bags, food, booze (free tickets??), rubbing shoulders with world-class athletic stars, while making lots of overtime, and having access to all kinds of facilities most taxpayers will only glance at from beyond concrete barriers and two rings of chain link fences … don’t wonder why so many Brtiish Columbians are less than 100% enthusiastic.