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2010 Olympics Business News for the Vancouver and Whistler regions of British Columbia. Plus, Alberta, the rest of Canada, Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana & California

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Vancouver FAILS Livability Test
Necessary Illusion & Juxtaposition

Vancouver's official report card is in, and apparently we aren't the most livable city that newspapers like The Vancouver Sun and other local mainstream media would like us to believe.

According to the Vancouver Foundation's official report card (they've been doing this since 1943), Vancouver gets a "D" in housing, a "D+" in transportation, a "C+" in safety (although they sugar coat it by reporting a C- and B- respectively). Not an "A" or "B" to be seen.

How can these failing grades be true?

How, in the space of a couple of months can we go from being the most livable, to barely tolerable?

Apparently local mainstream news media have not been performing the service to the community that they led us to believe and often boasted about. Instead, they told us half truths, ignored the real needs of our community and allowed wealthy corporations to set the curriculum.

The unfortunate truth is that not much has changed in the last couple of months, or for that matter the last few years, except the hype coming from local mainstream media interested in cashing in on the 2010 Olympics.

The only thing that has changed is our perception. Why?

Well, let's start with this blog, and then look at, and then, and all the other bloggers, readers, and commenters in Metro Vancouver that show you the other side of the story.

Online communities have put so much pressure on local mainstream news media that newspapers and television companies now have no choice but to tell us both sides of the story.

Now that has explained to thousands of average people what "necessary illusion" is, they are now more capable of making intelligent decisions about how news media impacts their businesses and lives.

If Vancouver gets a failing grade, do we get held back a year?

Sorry, can't do that. The 2010 Olympics are coming, and apparently we have to put our best foot forward and continue to fool the world into thinking we are the most livable city.

Unfortunately, if we keep this charade up through to 2010 the likelihood of backlash and having it knock us back on our keesters is inevitable. That's what happened in the last three Olympics regions. It might come as a shock to mainstream news media, but people in other parts of the world have the internet too, which means they can see this blog, and the countless others that are sure to pop up between now and 2010.

When you ignore history you are doomed to make the same mistakes.

Maybe it's time to break the chain.

Vancouver needs a tutor to help our misplaced pride in insularity learn to speak fluent global.

Resisting globalization is like resisting the Olympics. Both are coming whether you like it or not so you better find someone who can teach you to speak the language and leverage it to your advantage.

The Vancouver Foundation polled average citizens to learn what we think of our community. They do a good job, however what they should NOT be doing is making recommendations based on the findings of a community that is heavily influenced by mainstream news media.

It's one thing to know what the community thinks, but it does not mean we should act on information gleaned from a public that bases their opinion on emotion and bad information. For example, according to the report, citizens are scared for their safety. However, this conclusion does not mean the solution is to increase the police force as citizens taking the Foundation poll indicate. That is ludicrous, and a very dangerous road to travel. You might think you had a heart attack because you were running, but the truth is, you are overweight - stop running until you get in better shape. Walk instead. We don't need band aid solutions, we need long term cures. For The Foundation to imply otherwise is irresponsible.

Now for the juxtaposition part of the Vancouver Sun's interpretation of this report. It is interesting to note that The Vancouver Foundation, on their official report card call it "Housing," but on the front page of The Sun on October, 2, 2007, they add the words "Homeless" to the title so it reads "Housing & Homeless."

Why? Well who knows for sure, but when I read the newspaper's interpretation of the report I thought the average person's housing crisis has something to do with the homeless, but it doesn't. When I checked The Foundation's website I discovered that they don't tie it together under one heading ... so why would The Sun do it? The truth is that 81% of people in Vancouver think that the city in general has an "affordability" issue, but it seems The Sun would like us to believe the "D" grade applies only to the homeless. I suppose they think if we think it has something to do with homeless people that we won't care. Nice try.

On a similar note; according to a survey of 5,858 Canadians polled by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), residents of British Columbia are victims of fraud more than any other province in Canada. 38% per cent of fraud victims in B.C. said they have been victims more than once compared with a national average of 25%.

A whopping 13% of people in B.C. report they have been a victim of fraud, while the number was only 4% in Atlantic Canada.

I'm not surprised that British Columbia has the worst record of consumer fraud in Canada. Maybe if local mainstream news media actually did the job they profess, residents here would be smarter and not such sitting ducks for scammers.

If your local newspaper won't give you a heads up regarding the 2010 Olympics who will? VANOC? The IOC? Politicians? Big Business? Don't hold your breath. They want your money, so the less you know, the better their chances of fooling you too.

Moral of this story;

Don't trust local mainstream news media, and do your homework.

Contaminated Soil - False Creek

CanWest reported on September 22, 2007, that residents on the north side of False Creek, opposite the Olympics Village, are complaining of noxious gases, which they claim are generated by contaminated soil in their neighborhoods. The land was previously industrial park that housed mills, smelters, etc.

According to Jody Andrews, Project Manager for the Southeast False Creek project, samples taken in and around 2004 revealed a wide variety of contaminants spread in a variety of areas on the property, like hydrocarbons (derivative of petroleum), waste from a smelter, byproducts from a wood mill, and other miscellaneous industrial waste.

Here's what I published regarding contaminated soil in that area back in April of 2006 when my book, Leverage Olympic Momentum was released.

Talk to us before you talk to them ... - the book

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Citizen Journalism

We don't
BREAK the News
We FIX it!

Talk to us before you talk to them.
Leverage Olympic Momentum

Available at Duthie Books
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1st printing no longer available at
CHAPTERS locations in Vancouver

Inukshuk Vancouver / Whistler

Own the Podium?

The official creed (guiding principle) of the Olympics is a quote by the founding father of the modern day Games Baron de Coubertin. He said, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

The Olympic motto consists of three Latin words Citius, Altius, Fortius, which means, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger." The 1924 motto is meant to encourage athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their individual abilities.

No where does it imply that winning the most gold medals for your country is part of the agenda. In fact it implies exactly the opposite.

The IOC maintains that it doesn't actively encourage countries to collectively win the most gold medals, but on the other hand they also don't institute anything to ensure that the Games are not turned into corporate money grabs.

In fact, IOC sponsorship and partnership business models encourage a win-at-all-costs mentality. It is the reason they have doping, fraud and bribery scandals.

The IOC invites young people to compete in the Olympics using the original Creed & Motto. But when it comes to delivering on the promise they fall incredibly short.

The Olympics today isn't as much about sport as it is about money and profit.

Priorities changed over the years and so too should their Creed & Motto.

If athletes go for the gold, and the IOC goes for the gold, and corporate sponsors go for the gold, and governments go for the gold, and considering that you will have to foot the bill for their gold, why should you be edged out of the race?

Move to the starting line.

Own the Podium?
Own Your Home?

Real journalism consists of
what someone doesn't want published,
all the rest is public relations."
George Orwell

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