"Changes are coming" to Olympic Village, including housing protest

Post by Mike Klassen in

21 comments


Gregor Robertson scrummed about his flip-flop on Olympic Village transparency

The pressure continues to build upon as more discussions are taking place at City Hall on what to do about the Olympic Village. Furthermore people are waking up to the outrageous hypocrisy of Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver on the matter of openness related to the project on Southeast False Creek. Scrummed by GlobalTV's Ted Field, Hizonner insisted that it was okay to keep things behind closed doors "because nothing has been decided".

Interesting. Isn't that what in-camera meetings are for – deciding stuff? Didn't Gregor say that the NPA needed to let the public know what they were up to with regards negotiations with the lender? What's good for the goose...right, Gregor?

Now this wrinkle from Vancouver's housing activists...

Community Groups to Establish “Olympic Village: Tent City” in Feb 2011

In the midst of a drastic housing shortage and an affordability crisis exacerbated by creeping gentrification, community groups are redoubling efforts to secure the promised affordable units at the Olympic Village, now known as Millenium Water. The 2005 SEFC Official Development Plan promised that 66% of the units would be affordable; but now that number has been reduced to less than 10%. Currently, a majority of the promised units remain empty and are waiting to be sold on the free market.

In the lead-up to February 2011, the one-year anniversary of the Olympic Tent Village established at 58 West Hastings, our campaign will use various activist methods to attain a moratorium on the sale of the promised units, including petitioning, letter-writing, boycott campaign, squats and beyond. 

If by February 2011 affordability promises at the Athlete’s Village remains undelivered, the community will establish a Tent City at the Athlete’s Village under a general call to “Reclaim Housing.”  In the second week of the tent city, if the sell-off of promised units continues, residents of the tent village may expand the direct-action by occupying the empty units and/or City Hall.

Quotes:

“We are proud to go forward with our announcement Olympic Village: TentCity Feb 2011. This is the next phase of our campaign calling for a moratorium on selling off the ‘broken promise’ units until the original goal of 2/3rds affordable housing is met,” said Tristan Markle of VanAct! “We've been planning today's Olympic Village: Tent City Feb 2011 announcement for a few months. Millenium Water and Bob Rennie were expected to relaunch their condo sales campaign tomorrow, but had to cancel because, thankfully, people are not buying the unethical ‘broken promise’ units.”

“We want to make it clear that the original goal was two thirds affordable housing,” said Stan Kupferschmidt of VanAct! “That was the supposed positive Olympic Legacy. It is still the right thing to do. People are still being turned away from shelters and are sleeping on the streets.” He added: “It is possible to meet that goal. The units are sitting empty. The developer is trying to profit off of broken promises, but it isn't working. The units should default to the public and be made affordable to those who need them. The developer is on the hook financially, not the City. The City is on the hook ethically.”

Media Contacts:

Tristan Markle (VanAct!) – 778-836-9877    
Stan Kupferschmidt (VanAct!)– 778-322-6552

For more on the history of the Olympic Village, read our feature series articles:

- post by Mike

21 Comments

Robertson is a complete hypocrite on this Olympic village issue. If his backroom meeting was just to update council, then why have it in secret? We all know more is happening on this project then Ballem and Robertson are letting on. Let's open this up to more public scrutiny now! That's what he promised and got elected on.

Eventually the minutes of all these secret meetings will be made public and we'll all be able to see who was telling the truth about what. The minutes will prove whether this week's incamera meeting was in fact decision-less as Robertson claims. Will the mayor commit to releasing them before the next election?

I'm rather skeptical, but will wait for the minutes to be released before passing final judgment. I do suspect there are other documents floating out there and another bomb is about to drop at any minute. It is starting to feel like the beginning of the end for Vision.

I agree. If no decisions were made then Robertson should have no problem releasing the minutes of the in-camera meeting on Tuesday. Are you up for it Mr. Mayor? Will you release the minutes to show there were no decisions made? This should clear the air and meet your campaign commitments.

The Globe and Mail is reporting this evening that the in-camera meeting simply "confirmed" the city manager's authority to act fast regarding the village. Huh? Why would councillors need to call a special in-camera meeting to "confirm" authority? Isn't that a bit redundant? If someone already has authority, they don't need a special in-camera meeting to confirm it. This is all starting to smell bad. Me thinks council actually did make decisions regarding the village, but are just not willing to tell the public. Therefore, just RELEASE THE MINUTES!!!

The G&M also states 'So far, Millennium Developments has paid nearly all of the first $200-million that was due by the end of the summer as part of the loan agreement with the city." Notice how they say "nearly all". That's contrary to what Meggs/Ballem said earlier this week when they claimed the developer had paid the full $200 million dollar payment. So who got it right?

The more that is reported on this meeting, the more mysterious it all gets. This doesn't pass the sniff test.

Well Greggsy, you make your bed & then, you lie in it. Are you going to be down there next February to participate in the sleep-over tent-in? Or, are you going to start talking about what a great development the Olympic Village really is &, it is?

It's a wonderfully well designed & built energy efficient development with an amazing array of amenities beyond anything else offered in Vancouver or, anywhere else for that matter. It should be a privilege to be able to live there.

With over $700,000,000 owed to the citizens of Vancouver, we'll be watching. Me thinks this is your Waterloo. In fact, the battle is already lost. How much can you lose [$300,000 / mo x 7 mos = $2,100,000 & counting]? By the way, how are the rentals going? When are the social housing units going to be occupied?

Didn't you Vision fellas know 1 December, 2008 you had to have the Olympic Village occupied as of 1 March, 2010? That's 1 years & 9 months & counting.

The City needs an independent auditor-general, like the Province has, with access to all the City's financial records. We're talking about a billion dollar corporation here being run like a Mom and Pop corner store.

We're all still waiting for someone to get his walking papers from the Mayor's office. After all the controversy over FD Element and Robertson's "summer from hell" you would think he'd be making some personnel changes by now. Better act quickly, time is running out.

The threat of an olympic village tent city will certainly hurt condo sales. The Mayor should clearly indicate how he is going to handle this so as to avoid a situation where buyers are scared off over the coming months. Let's see if he's up to the challenge.

Solve homelessness became solving STREET homelessness. Being the world's greenest city means BACKYARD CHICKENS. HEAT shelters became CRACK DENS Making the city bike friendly becomes ticking off car drivers, pedestrians and businesses. Consultation with the public means listening to these f**ing hacks that voted for me. And banning in camera meetings just became banning in camera DECISIONS.

See how they run.

Out of curiosity, I visited the tent city set up at 58 Hastings Street, during the Olympics.

It was a farce (Google homeless pretenders)BC Housing was denied access to the site, therefore, unable to fully access the persons that might need help. Most of the 'tents' were occupied by your general run of the mill protesters - many who were protesting everything and anything about the Olympics. (Watched the general protest at BC Place)

Now, for them to consider hijacking the Village, which may/will negatively effect the sales of the units and recouping of tax payer dollars (and for the advocates reading this, note those words 'tax payer' dollars)will only pull ire from the general public.

It is a bad, bad move to allow this to move forward.

The difference here is the Village is private property - unlike the lot owned by Concord that protesters were given permission to occupy for a period of time.

The homeless issue in the DTES is not going to change until the allowed open drug market is shut down - and these same advocates wanting free housing, stand up for the rights of addicts to freely shoot up and lead their lives on the fringes of society.

Pivot,VANDU, BC Civil Libs and Carnegie are all guilty of contributing to the ongoing issues of the DTES and its deterioration.

Nothing on this front will change until society as a whole quits enabling the so called 'marginalized' of the DTES.

I've been told that lenders are demanding higher downpayments and stricter qualifications for would be buyers at the village, due to fears about difficulty of reselling in the event of foreclosure.

To stem the drain on current finances and maintain at least a theoretical capital value maybe the city could develop a shared equity scheme or even guarantee mortgages. But then I just think of the people who would have to organise this and my heart sinks.

I was at the Olympic Village OPen House on May 15th in the afternoon and witnessed the protestors storming the site. What a dispicable lot! They stormed in swearing, some where holding up their middle fingers walking around like they're somebody. In fact, they're nobody! In their self-serving time on the site, they seemed to miss the crying/scared children, parents worried for the safety of their family and really, there were taxpayers there who were pissed off at their behaviour..imagine, hundreds of taxpayers enjoying themselves before these losers showed up! I wonder if those losers pay taxes? I live in the city and pay my taxes and quite frankly, would not at all support any further protests. These protests do not help the sale of the units which most buildings on the site belong to Millennium, not the City. I want those damn units sold as fast as possible and for us to get out of debt, thank you.

The Thought of The Day

“Wow, the Rats are ratting out the Mice; just what the Fat Cats want.”

I’m surprised by the amount of naivety, spin and vitriol thrown by some on this commenter list, towards the protester’s camp. You are simply trying to change the subject, people.

Take for example one ‘Rebecca’ that apparently was appalled by the protester’s actions during the 15th of May opening ceremony. Hmmm, children were screaming, young titties were left unattended, private security, firemen and police, in great numbers I may say, were ducking for cover. Anarchy. Yeah, right.

Guess what? I was there too. And I wasn’t inconvenienced at all, not one bit. ‘Rebecca’ adds...’ City of Vancouver’ – goooood. ‘Millenium Developer’ – goooood. ‘Protester’s Despicable Lot’ – baaaaad.

Oh, really? Let me refresh your memory, lady. We would not be in this mess, if our Pathetic Meeyor , his City Doctor Penny and his Vision Gang would not have bailed out a moribund Developer and a crooked Financier, to save face and to enhance their opportunities for more ,hand shaking and shoulder bumping’ inside the numerous ‘by invitation only’ Vancouver House parties during the Olympic games.

They indebted the people of Vancouver for ‘whatever amount necessary’, behind closed doors, in order to stage a three week party. My advice to this matter, as a Taxpayer, was not welcomed. Period.
Got that?
Then, in the middle of this entire debacle of what to do with those units, they came up with another diabolic plan, by proposing to fill out the rental units, with ‘essential services’ professionals. Pinch me, if this is not right out of the ‘Commies R Us’ Bolshevik manual updated for use in Capitalist Vancouver a.k.a. the Hollyhock Experimental City! For some reason, they left out the Coast Guard, the Army,and the Taxi Drivers Elite.
Proooooblem!

I for one am not scared by a group of protesters who, BTW, had every right to be there. Gee, I'm sorry they spoiled your Latte, scared your precious Shih Tzu out of his collar, or perhaps stole that Green City Personal Space and sense of entitlement of yours.

I’m more worried when a bunch of ‘politically connected’ multi-millionaires, or foreigners barely speaking English and/ or Organized Crime money launderers will be offered to buy several units at firesale prices (which in fact was already suggested by some), licking their chops in enjoyment while leaving the Vancouverites, to attend to their wounded wallets,all this in the midst of cutting social programs, closing park amenities and erasing elementary schools throughout the city. Now that’s what I call Vision, pumpkin!

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

The mayor should take no longer than a nanosecond to denounce these clownsters and restore confidence in this project. Anything less is a slap in the face to current and future investors. Will he have the guts to do it? I doubt it.

The side profile of Robertson allows us a bird's eye view of his nose stretching while he's speaking. How much longer before we can boot him out of office? I've never been an NPA supporter, but will be volunteering for them in the next election. These guys have got to go.

Thank you Tom. Your help is important.

From the Mayor's website:

"the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Vancouver has now been certified as the greenest, most energy efficient and sustainable neighbourhood in the world.....“The LEED Platinum certification for the 2010 Olympic Village and Southeast False Creek is the highest ever for a neighbourhood this size,” said Mayor Robertson."

The Green economy is only sustained by massive subsidies, which in this case will be provided by the taxpayers of Vancouver.

walked by city hall tonight and saw a poster advertising the tent city 2011 in the OV....and so it begins.

City should will probably declare a bailout crisis and sell the property to itself and make the remaining units social housing.

Man who would be an idiot to spend 800,000 dollars to potential live next with dealers, addicts, prostitute, pimps and mentally challenged people.

I lived on a main drug dealing location in Victoria BC, had nothing but headaches all thru the night. And the police can't do a thing about it.

The Thought of The Day

"Keep the Olympic Village empty for good! That way, the Mayor may claim on his website, to have mastered the only 'ZERO NET ENERGY' Village in the World."

The Athenians have the Acropolis. So, we'll have something 'Greek' too, called 'The OVopolis'.

Great TV and Film location for spooky movies, SF flicks, and/ or low budget comedies. Maybe we'll attract the next Woody Allen production, say, 'Vancouver's Cristina moved to Barcelona'. I heard it's a fun dyslexic family movie, some abject language may be present, it may contain a hint of racism, bigotry, sphincter jokes, and some doping references. Limited intellects. No harm done.

I say, it's looking good. Looking good. BTW, VIFF it's coming to town at the end of this month. Great spread. Also, keep in mind that the Vision season it's almost here. One foreign movie it's the equivalent of one shot of Vision Vaccine. It's good for ya.

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

We have Pivot and the BC Civil Libs to thank for the 'red tents', tent cities'.
John Richardson boasted the 'idea' during the Olympics.

If you have a moment, look to see who donates (big US dollars) to their so called causes.

Ah, the Vision donors helping the poverty activists in Vancouver.

"The best way to reduce energy consumption at the olympic village is to ensure nobody lives there. No residents = low energy usage. It's a win-win for the City" - Mayor Gregor Robertson

okay...just kidding. He didn't really say that, but I'm sure he's thinking it.

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