Thanks to the Olympics, Second Class Citizens in our Own City

Here's the final installment of the District of North Vancouver's response to me about why Olympic corporate sponsors could use Distirct property to promote themselves.

 Dr. Shaw:

Sorry for the delay in responding, however, the person I needed to talk to with regards to your issues has been away on vacation. As a Community Contributor, the District signed an agreement with VANOC in regards to signage and this agreement, while in effect, supersedes the District’s banner policy.

 Louise Horton

Executive Assistant to Mayor Richard Walton

Let me translate this for VO's readers: Forget the Burrand Band being sovereign in their own territory, forget in fact the entire "Four Host Nations" aspect of the Games, it's all about a commercial agreement with VANOC that the District signed on to. Actually, it's worse: the District signed on to sponsor the Games with taxpayer money and for this "privilege" have to allow the corporate advertising that goes with the Games. Which bright lights on District staff or Council thought this was a good idea to have us pay for the commercialization of our own space? It would have been offensive if we had been paid, but goes beyond offensive to outright stupid going the other way.

All of this highlight, yet again, that the Games are not for our benefit, rather the IOC and their corporate backers, that we have, in effect, become second-class citizens in our own city and province.

Need more examples? How's this: Van City employees at Terminal and Main can no longer use the exits facing Science World for fire drills since the later is being taken over for the Russian Pavilion for the duration of the Olympics. This is a security measure, presumably for the "safety" of the Russians. What about the safety of Van City employees? The Olympics are here, so who cares, right?

If you still have any doubts about your status versus VANOC CEO John Furlong's, wait for the full weight of the transportation plan to kick in as you try to get to work. Three levels of government, the IOC and VANOC think he is more equal than you. And, for the time being, he is.


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