Teachers now provided with special access to Olympic Village rentals

Post by CityCaucus.com Staff in

20 comments

arrogance
Voters? Pah! Vision's arrogance becomes more evident on Olympic Village file

In what is quickly becoming one of the most surreal debates regarding the controversy-plagued Olympic Village, Vancouver Council has decided to add teachers to the growing list of occupations provided with special access to rental units. Earlier this week Vision released a late distribution report (yet again) and rushed through a process to slash the total number of social housing units available to low-income residents. Meanwhile, they've taken half of those units and agreed to offer them for rent to firefighters, police, nurses and now teachers.

The whole process regarding this landmark decision stinks. It is rumoured the report outlining options for social housing at the Olympic Village was actually drafted last fall. Council apparently sat on it in order to avoid the embarrassment of voting to cut social housing prior to the Games. To then ram this through the Chamber in the matter of about 72 hours is another clear signal that Mayor Gregor Robertson's Vision government is one of the most arrogant administrations we've seen in a generation.

The meeting to discuss the future of social housing at the Village ended at around 1am this morning. After being provided with the minimal amount of notice necessary, speakers were then asked to wait around for hours in order to have their voice heard. It's hard to understand why citizens decided to wait that long considering the Mayor said his caucus had already announced they met in the backrooms and had made up their mind on how they were going to vote. By pushing this to the bottom of the agenda, Vision all but guaranteed that all of the media would have long gone home by the time the votes were cast. Was it not Vision Vancouver that ran on a campaign platform of more openness and transparency?

After hours of debate, Councillor Geoff Meggs then added a special amendment to ensure that teachers were also given priority access to the special Olympic Village rental units. Despite Meggs sporting a neck brace, Michael Smyth delivered several good blows to the head this morning when he ripped into the councillor for providing teachers with this special access.

Yet again, Vision appears to be struggling with their message box. One minute they claim providing first responders with special access to the units is all about the safety of our community (they did that with the Burrard Bridge lane trials as well), then the next minute it's about ensuring we make Vancouver more affordable. Councillor Raymond Louie was even on the radio this morning claiming that he supported providing teachers access to the units in order that we could get kids back to school quicker after a major earth quake. Who are these guys kidding?

As developer Michael Geller rightly points out, council did have a choice here. They could have been a bit creative and saved taxpayers over $100 million dollars, or they could let ideology trump good public policy. They could have built or purchased more social housing units away from the waterfront, or been pigheaded and stayed the course. We all know which path they've chosen.

It should also be noted that the tired and now worn out talking point of "this was all the NPA's fault" is falling on deaf ears in the media. Perhaps it's because they're fully aware that most of the key decisions regarding the building of this project were approved by successive COPE, Vision and NPA governments.

Or perhaps it's because of what Frances Bula aptly pointed out a few weeks ago that an Olympic Village planned and managed by a Vision Vancouver government would not have been any less expensive. For heaven's sake, it was Vision's original plan to have the project be 2/3 non-market housing before the NPA scaled back those "ambitious" and unfunded dreams.

It was the Olympic Village that helped to propel Vision back into government. However, based on what we've witnessed in the last 72 hours, this arrogant government has found that their biggest political asset is now turning into one colossal public relations nightmare.

- post by CityCaucus staff

20 Comments

Is it just me or has anyone mentioned that these housing units are being earmarked for members of labour unions traditionally loyal to Vision? Sounds like Meggs is doing what he does best - pimping for the union movment on the city's dime!

Okay everybody, what are our legal options for getting rid of Vision Vancouver RIGHT NOW?

Does recall legislation apply to civic elections in the province as well?

I'm serious folks, tell me what my options are and I'm on it.

I just passed Minister McDiarmid's constituency office on Broadway. The BCTF had organized a lunch-hour demo with placards, matching t-shirts and balloons. 25 participants (the usual suspects, all old and all white) sang along with a guitar "Where have all the millions gone?". One news crew shot some footage for the dinner broadcast.
Seems like a lot of bother when all they have to do is phone Geoff.

What a nightamre. I said it before. What a nightmare. Defect communism from Eastern Europe many years ago, get to Canada, communists moved here!!! Thank you Roberston and Vizion in Vancouver. What to do what to do.
Slovak Jurek

This is a BIG payback to all their union buddies. No doubt about it. Arrogant doesn't begin to describe this government. Hard to believe they gave all the social housing advocates the finger, and they sit back and smile. No protests. No politicians hanging in effigy. No occupations of vacant buildings. No tent cities. Nope.

The lefty's cherished vv party is now driving the knife in their back and they have nowhere to go. Oops, COPE is also dead. More Vision roadkill.

Those evil NPAers are looking mighty good about now. At least they put money into social housing, rather than building subsidized units for a highly paid unionized workforce. I think we should begin a recall petition. Perhaps we could get the HST crew working with Bill Tieleman to help us? Tieleman could carry two petitions with him door to door. One to get rid of the BC Liberals and the other to get rid of vision. Ha ha. Don't think he'll be open to this.

I don't know what else this government could do to infuriate voters. Could it really be that they could be kicked out after one term? Please, someone tell me it's a possibility.

rezzie,

Why on earth would you think Bill Tieleman, would lead a recall campaign against the party he consults for/to?

I don't possibly understand how you could have missed that Bill may just be more arrogant than the lot of our Visionista council combined.....

And that's saying something.

Just a last note, former Preem VanderZalm is doing more for the anti-HST campaign than any hollow effort by Tieleman which is strictly political for his NDP brethern.

The Zalm is doing this apolitically and that certainly cannot be said about Tieleman, whose personal agenda controls everything he does.

Please don't bring up that slime ball again, it wastes all of our time.

check out this link to Vision Vancouver's donors. BCTF, CUPE, VESTA, BC Federation of labour, and on it goes. If anyone is under the impression this isn't anything but a payback to the unions, you must be smoking something.

As for Geoff Meggs. Isn't he a leaseholder in city-owned and subsidized South West False Creek??? Hhmmmm. It's no wonder he's pushing for more water front subsidized housing for his union brothers and sisters. Meanwhile the rest of us pleebs have to bust our a$$ working at low end jobs to provide seaside properties for his chums. Nice gig if you can get it.

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/election2008/pdf/disclosure/EO-Vision_Vancouver%28D%29.pdf

Vv should stand for Vancouver vagabonds.
I don't know if the Teachers will take the bait thrown at them or not. Having said that however, when it comes to freebies and other benefits the Teachers never shied away. It's for the kids, we know that!Same goes for the other categories.
In any case, robertson, meggs, and his vagabonds are beyond despicable. Maybe someone will point out the fact that this is a totally discriminating practice. You make the same money, you are Joe the Plumber. You are no good!??
Who said "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others"? Ahem.

How is it that the NPA isn’t doing a massive membership blitz at the moment? I got sick of Vancouver and left, but I’d be willing sign up for a membership if it meant an end to Juiceman and that sniveling socialist Mayor Meggs!!!!

Wake up and smell the latte man.

As Progressives, we understand that all people are equal, but we are just more equal because, well you know, just because.

That's why we can make smart decisions about who is higher on the housing totem pole.

You need to grow up and realize how much better progressives are as human beings. You should sign up for a mind expansion weekend at Hollyhock . . . it will change you forever.

@bleedingheart - the BCTF isn't on that list. Neither is the BCPSEA, the union of administrators that makes decisions at the board level.

@cc - "Despite Meggs sporting a neck brace, Michael Smyth delivered several good blows to the head this morning when he ripped into the councillor for providing teachers with this special access." Way to pitch a hate-on for teachers, CityCaucus - you guys spend your spare time at the cl r and r?

@keyser soze. Do you really want us to believe the BCTF didn't help vision get elected? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. When do I stop laughing. Check out these links. I think it proves your spin wrong. They state right in their 2008 financial disclosure that the BCTF gave them the money to support Vision - full stop. One grant was for $37K and the other for $18K.

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/election2008/pdf/disclosure/CO-VSTA(SR).PDF

http://vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/election2008/pdf/disclosure/CO-VESTA(SR).PDF

The Thought of The Day

"I foresee some of the City Hall ‘Usual Suspects’ in a police line up, sometime in the future."

Keyser Soze...

Hmmm, nice Bandit Name you have there buddy, and very appropriate I may add, for your brethren. So, what are you, like 5.7, 180, 40-ish, balding, big nose, Dumbo ears, with a slight limp in your right leg? The people of Vancouver are on to your Vision racket, buddy. You’ll have to advise Meggs to hang on to his neck brace a bit longer.

Looks good on camera, “the man is coming to work in pain” look gets points. Only the “pregnant woman with twins in the ninth” look can beat that, you see where I’m going with this. It will not help him politically anymore but it will be fun to watch though.

Police, Fire, Nurses, Teachers... provided with special Class privileges in a capitalist society, in a democratic country, in a free market economy. Wow! Tell me I am not just bad dreaming here! I will have to paraphrase one of the previous posters “What a nightmare!”
The way those Vision bozos are affecting the policy in this City, soon enough we’ll be living in an Animal Farm fable. This must to stop now!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

MMMM... SOCIALISM. Time to boot out the fruit drink king.

@ Keyser

Thank goodness BCTF ≠ (does not equal) TEACHERS

The vast majority of our educators are amazing and generous people. Their union, however, has earned its place among the most negative forces in our country. They use fearmongering and poisonous public relations campaigns that employers can never match in good conscience.

The real math? BCTF = BULLIES
And parents and kids are mere pawns.

Just make sure Mayor Meggs isn't planning to move into another subsidized home on the water in the Olympic Village.
How much does this guy make anyway? $60,000 + ? No assets? Should he really be leading the City?

They can market these units with a billboard beside the Cambie bridge...

IF YOU WERE A VISION SUPPORTER, YOU'D BE HOME NOW!

I'd be interested to know what the rents will be for these units. What is considered a subsidized rent for a regular person (and how does one qualify?) and what will the "first responders" pay? (Ditto for the qualifications") I lived in a Co-op once and found the rent expensive and got out.

It seems a bit harsh for all public service workers to take the flak for this stupid decision. Obviously the great majority of them will neither want nor be able to take advantage of this opportunity.

In fact the distribution of these units will probably be very little different to that of any subsidized housing in a highly desirable location, a significant part will go to the connected, manipulative, opportunistic and undeserving of whatever professional background. This may seem cynical, but it is an opinion based on what I have seen and know of residents in such developments in contrast to those in ordinary locations.

There is no suprise in this, it's just unfortunate to say the least that so much more could have been done for so many more with the resources available.

I think what most people are forgetting here is that the BC government had teachers put on the essential services list to deem it illegal for them to strike in the future. This was a shady move to stop teachers from having any bargaining leverage. Therefore, if other essential service occupations have access to rent the Olympic Village apartments it would only be fair to put teachers on that list. We all know what should really happen is that they should stick to their original promises... haha... We all know it wouldn't be politics if they did.

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