Vancouver, a tale of two cities

A couple of days ago my best friend and i drove through Vancouver on our way to and from visiting our girl at UBC. It was a beauiful day, we walked on the beach and marveled at the mountains, the habour, the shorebirds and loving dogwalkers we shared the beauty with. Vancouver BC is consistantly ranked as the most livable and lovely city on earth, and it is as long as you've got the dough-ray-me.

On every corner downtwn, on every street and shopping district the closer you get to the downtown core you'll have to break out the blinders to not see the unlovely face of the homeless. There's lottsa money for the 2010 billionaires party, more yet for tax cuts for the corporate and well heeled politican's benefactors. Plenty for bridges, plenty for roads, plenty for those who already have lots. But in this small blue world of ours more for the few means less for the many.

The Olympic juggernaut is blowing full gale, its propaganda machine churning out headlines designed to please its corporate sponsors. Yet poll after poll shows that over 50% of BC residents aren't buying the Olympic/corporate PR. It's obvious to most folks who'll pay the piper once the hoopla is over and the real costs start having to be paid. It's already happening, cutbacks in health and social services, cutbacks in everthing essential to the already needy . Soon those who see themselves as in the middle will see their taxes skyrocket to pay for the apres-binge debt BC and Canada's governments are racking up.

Vancouver is a tale of two cities. One affluent, one sleeping on the streets. When the world arrives in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics in a few weeks, will they find a city in which there are more homeless Canadians shuffling in the shadow of BC Place than Olympic athletes parading inside the Vancouver stadium? You betcha!