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: 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: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/2073463 2. Email Britannia Community Centre Board and voice your concern: britanniacc@vancouver.ca 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 no2010britannia@resist.ca 6. Visit our website for more information: http://web.resist.ca/~no2010britannia/index.php BACKGROUNDER: Britannia as an Olympics Venue? Many concerns have been voiced by community members about plans uncovered to use Britannia as an Olympic venue including:
Community Values
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)
Security/Surveillance
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 Canada) - 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 Service Disruptions 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
Public Debt
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 - www.vcn.bc.ca/ioc/documents/2007-05-07_OlympicReportCard.pdf) 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.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 29th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
I can't quite tell if this post bothers me or not.

On the one hand I totally oppose the olympics at Brit. Why?
- My kids go to school there, I don't want to have to hand off my kids to a security guard to walk them the rest of the way to school
- my kids go to school there, it'll be hard enough to find school care if they shut down all schools for the olympics - if it's only a few schools, the options won't be as plentiful
- it sucked enough having the pool shut down for the last month. My kids swim at least twice weekly, I hate it being shut down for any length of time
- we want our damned upgrades that we asked for, not for something we don't need.
- the area gets graffiti enough as it is, the olympics will draw in more graffiti and last year my kids didn't have a single field trip because of extra spending because of shit like that
- I live across the street from Britannia - I don't want my neighbourhood overrun by tourists telling me how lucky I am that my city has the olympics.
- The cost overruns will haunt our community and will likely gut virtually all programming after the olympics.

On the flip side, this isn't being posted in the eastvan community, it's vancity activism - that's all of vancouver and the areas outside of Vancouver.

- My entire family have memberships to britannia and the adults of our family voted when this board was elected.
- This is my community and my kids are really good at ice skating and since that is the closest skate rink to my home and within my community, if I wanted to choose to risk the cost overruns to my community, I should be the one to make that choice - not someone from Langley, Burnaby or North Vancouver who has access to email and wants to spend their Wednesday pissing off VANOC
- Britannia is home to inner city schools, they now have a program to train kids to be star hockey players (link (http://britannia.vsb.bc.ca/hockey/homepage/news.htm)). We lost a bright girl last year to an overdose because the problems with the area pulled her down. Giving the kids in the community strong opportunities to excel (like having a top of the line rink) promote a better future for the kids.
- We are a community of people with diverse backgrounds and interests and we can take care of our own community, we don't need people to bus in to overthrow the government - we elected some good people. We can tell our board what we think and we can trust our community to decide what is best for us. We don't need others to come in and tell us what to do with our community.
- The britannia board is a democratically elected board - having a bunch of people show up to demand they say "no" is the same as Gordo canceling the fall sitting. Just because you don't like the content of what will be there doesn't mean that you shouldn't let democracy run it's course.
- I worry when I see posts like this that the whole area around the board meeting will congregate with people who are out to cause trouble. I want to show my kids democracy in progress and being a part of our community, but I don't want to take them to a place where they may be unsafe: posts like this prevent actual community members from being there and speaking up.

That said, any and all members of the Britannia Community SHOULD be there Wednesday because it's important.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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