: please forward WIDELY::
Olympics at Britannia - It's time for the Board to vote no!
Board Meeting ‘final’ Vote - Wednesday October 29th - 7pm LRC room
at Britannia (under the library)
The Britannia Community Centre Board is set for a ‘final’vote on October 29th on whether to bow to VANOC pressure and let our public facility and
our community be taken over by the 2010 Olympics. VANOC is pressuring Britannia Community Centre to become an Olympic hockey practice venue.
You are needed to ensure that the board sees and hears the strong opposition to the Olympics in our community. Come be a witness and
ensure the board knows that it’s time to VOTE NO!
Take action to stop the Olympics at Britannia:
1. Please read, sign and share the petition: The community says NO to Olympics at Britannia!You can view this petition at:
2. Email Britannia Community Centre Board and voice your concern:
3. Attend the board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 29th (7 pm) underneath the Britannnia library
4. If you can help poster or leaflet or would like to participate in some street theatre please contact us at email@example.com
6. Visit our website for more information:
Britannia as an Olympics Venue?
Many concerns have been voiced by community members about plans uncovered to use Britannia as an Olympic venue including:
The Britannia Board represents our community and demographically, this community voted against the Olympics coming to Vancouver in the 2003
referendum. Most recently, the highly effective Olympic Spirit Train protests across Canada reinforces that not only are the Olympics opposed
in this community but there is an ever growing opposition and resistance to 2010 across the country.
Our concerns include:
- That “security parameters” will cut off or severely restrict access for our seniors, students and children
- Increases in traffic and rents, due to proximity of an Olympic venue, and general increased gentrification
- That rink upgrades would be carried out at the expense of more pressing upgrades at Britannia
- That needed upgrades shouldn't be tied to the Olympics deal which uses public money anyway
- That VANOC should not dictate shich part of our community centre is upgraded
- Britannia and its strong community-based history should be a leader in demanding that community centres need better funding and upgrades ingeneral
- The Olympic machine (which includes corporate sponsors like MacDonald's) targets youth and children with mascots, advertising andschool curriculum
- The Olympic games are taking place on unceded native territory (no Olympics on stolen native land)
More than 12,500 police, military, CSIS and private security will be used for the 2010 Olympics (Globe and Mail). All Olympic venues will
have closed circuit cameras installed and in Australia and Atlanta they were not removed after the Games (CBC Radio). The most recent estimates
for the costs are up to 1 billion dollars.
We are concerned about:
- increased police/military/security presence
- a “security perimeter” around the community centre
- the use of checkpoints, special ID passes and heavy surveillance including closed-circuit cameras/and satellite surveillance (Industry
- that “security” would be set up at Britannia long before the actual Olympics and remain long after
- the impact on homeless people including “sweeps” by police and harassment
- increased racial profiling, especially of indigenous youth
- heavy weaponry (guns, tasers, tear gas, pepper spray, helicopters) near our schools, libraries and daycares
- the constant threat of police violence and repression of opposition and dissent
The success of Britannia has always been in the variety and diversity of services it offers to the varied and diverse community it serves. We are
concerned that this will be overridden if the centre is used for the Olympics including:
- lack of access to the rink and other services such as the seniors centre, the pool, the library, teen centre, etc
- possible room rental disruption at the centre
- disruption to surrounding services and their clients, including Kettle Friendship Society and Reach Clinic
- the effects on bus routes/services, traffic, pedestrians
- the displacement of kids and adults in the hockey and skating programs
Every Olympic games has resulted in a long term public debt. The most recent announcement by VANOC for the 2010 games is that they are running
at a 48 million dollar debt that will result in the public covering these cost overruns.
Accountability and Transparency
Although private talks have reportedly been held for close to a year between Britannia and VANOC, the community has not been consulted about
Britannia being used as an Olympic practice venue. The details of these talks have not been made public. We are concerned that:
- The use of the Britannia Community Centre was not included in the Olympic Bid Book
- VANOC has repeatedly been described in local media as “undemocratic”
- VANOC is not subject to freedom of information legislation
- VANOC holds meetings that are closed to the public and of which no
official minutes are kept (Olympic Oversight Interim Report Card
The new Britannia Board will need to step forward as a community champion for access to information before a decision is made about a
project which will impact heavily on the community which depends on its community centre. We believe that the impacts and concerns we have
listed make it imperative that the new Britannia Board reject this “deal” and that candidates for the board should state their position on
the issue at the AGM before the vote.
Beware! The case of Trout Lake
The Trout Lake Ice Rink Replacement project shows how VANOC “funding” can disrupt services and leave Vancouverites with a huge bill.
The Trout Lake Ice Rink was slated for replacement and in 2004 VANOC offered $2.5 million (half of the estimated amount) towards the
replacement in exchange for its use as a practice venue before and during the 2010 games. Since entering into this agreement the cost of
the project has more than tripled to $15.9 million.
Meanwhile, VANOC refuses to provide any additional funding, despite the inflationary market the Olympics have helped create leaving Trout Lake
holding the bag for $13.4 million (so far).
VANOC has refused to provide any information on its security plans and the Centre has since learned that it risks being surrounded by a
"security perimeter" along with the rink and parking lot. This may result in the unplanned cancellation of all Centre programming
in the Fall of 2009 and Winter 2010.