Category: Olympics

Olympic Housing Rally

Olympic Housing Rally – Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hundreds gathered at on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery today to rally the call for a national housing program in Canada. The rally was organized by the Impact on Communities Coalition (IOCC).

The Raging Grannies opened it up with a few songs. Speakers included: David Dennis, President-Elect United Native Nations; Rev. Ric Matthews of First United Church; Wendy Pedersen, Carnegie Action Centre; John Richardson, Pivot Legal Society; and Libby Davies, MP Vancouver East.

Video of Libby Davies speech here.

Photos of the rally here.

#5 bus pulled by VPD and VANOC

After months of planning by the City of Vancouver Engineering with Translink to formulate an Olympic transportation plan VPD and VANOC and without notice and consultation shut down Robson to the #5 according to a local bus driver who updated a bus of riders this afternoon.

All though there are other reports that it was the City the closed the street to the #5 bus on recommendation from VANOC and VPD, none of this is confirmed yet.

Community Update: MLA Spencer Herbert Constituency Office

West End #5 Bus southbound / #6 westbound buses are no longer running as of 11:40 am on Tuesday February 16.

A decision was made today by Coast Mountain Bus Company and Translink to stop service on this portion of the route until the end of the Olympic period. Apparently their decision was made due to the fact that the City of Vancouver has extended the pedestrian corridor on Robson, from Thurlow to Bute. Buses that were previously turning off Thurlow onto Robson (southbound) are now unable to do so.

North/eastbound service for the #5/#6 is still in effect on the same route (Davie to Denman-to West Georgia-toPender-to Homer-to Richards-to Davie). Representatives from Translink have stated that the reason for closing the south/westbound route is due to the road closure and that it is unable to reroute the bus southbound down Georgia because the infrastructure for the trolley wires turning south off West Georgia south onto Denman does not exist. They have also stated that they are not able to place a diesel bus (non-trolley) on that route as they have no buses whatsoever to spare.

Our office has raised the question as to why this decision was made on February 16 and not in the months leading up to the Games so that residents could plan their routes and lives accordingly.  West Enders were assured that their bus service would not be disrupted and that they would continue to receive service in both directions along Davie, Denman and West Georgia (parallel to Robson).

Our office met with representatives from VANOC and the City of Vancouver months prior to the Games who made these same assurances. We have also been informed by Brent Granby of WERA that their members met with Engineers from the City of Vancouver who made the same assurances.  In fact one member of WERA raised the concern that the trolley infrastructure at the corner of Denman and Georgia was not in place, but no commitments were made to addressing that problem or closing the route at the beginning of the Games.

We have spoken with residents of the West End who are very upset about this change, in particular because they were promised full service and because today residents, many of them senior and some disabled persons are currently standing at bus stops without any southbound service or any indication that service has been halted.

A representative from Translink have stated that signage indicating this route closure would be up tomorrow. We raised the concern that the signage should have been put in place prior to the closure.

To view the road plan for Robson as of February 2010 consult P. 2 of the City of Vancouver’s pedestrian corridor map which shows that Robson street remains open eastbound from Thurlow to Bute.

WERA in the News

WERA director Christine Ackermann, IOCC Chair Am Johal and Wendy Pedersen CCAP
WERA director Christine Ackermann, IOCC Chair Am Johal and Wendy Pedersen CCAP

photo by Doug Shanks

This article first appeared in the West Ender and is reposed here with the permission of the author.

homelessness, Olympics
Posted By: Jackie Wong
11/19/2009 12:00 AM

Housing, homelessness, and the 2010 Olympics will be the focus of a public forum on Monday (November 23) at SFU Harbour Centre’s Fletcher Challenge Theatre. The forum is part of the Right to the City lecture series organized by the Impact on Communities Coalition, an Olympic watchdog group.

The forum features speakers with a wide range of expertise on Vancouver housing and homelessness, including Martha Lewis of the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre; Wendy Pedersen of the Downtown Eastside’s Carnegie Community Action Project; and Reverend Ric Matthews of First United Church, the site of one of the first homeless shelters to open last winter under Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Homeless Emergency Action Team (HEAT).

While preparations for the 2010 Games have drawn criticism from housing and civil-liberties advocates, attributing all of the city’s housing issues to the Olympics is too simple, says Nathan Edelson, a former senior planner for the City of Vancouver and a speaker at the Right to the City forum. Continue reading

The Right to the City: Housing, Homelessness and the 2010 Olympics

IOCC- Right to City- Housing OrangeThe Right to the City: Housing, Homelessness and the 2010 Olympics

A Public Forum Hosted by the Impact on Communities Coalition

Monday, November 23, 2009

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Fletcher Challenge Theatre, SFU Harbour Centre

Reverend Ric Matthews, First United Church
Christine Ackermann, West End Residents Association
Wendy Pederson, Carnegie Community Action Project
Nathan Edelson, Former Senior Planner, City of Vancouver
Martha Lewis, Tenants Resource Advisory Centre
Am Johal, Impact on Communities Coalition
David Dennis, United Native Nations
Monte Paulson, Investigative Editor, The Tyee
Christine Parnell-Smith, Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Society

Moderated by Stefanie Ratjen, Board Member, Impact on Communities Coalition

When the Olympic bid process was underway, the Inner City Inclusive Commitment was signed in 2003 and included commitments around a housing legacy and protection from Olympic related evictions. This panel will look at the impacts of the 2010 Olympics on housing and other urbanization processes underway in Vancouver including the crisis of affordability, the proliferation of homelessness and loopholes in tenancy legislation which are resulting in evictions.

You can find out more about this event on Facebook, or on the IOCC website.