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Welcome to Vancouver. You are visiting one of the greatest cities in the world: eye-popping scenery, efficient services, moderate climate, relaxed and diverse population.
The United Nations survey on livability rates Vancouver in the top handful of cities on earth. And this year we’re hosting the Winter Olympics! What a great opportunity to enjoy Vancouver’s attractions — including all the Olympic legacies, like new stadiums, highways and tourist sights.
But one legacy that isn’t so enjoyable is the thousands of homeless people on the streets of Vancouver. You can’t help seeing them as you walk around downtown, and in many other neighbourhoods around the city.
This is shameful situation; visitors in 2010 are being treated to a city with almost as many homeless people as athletes competing in the Games!
Grinding poverty and growing homelessness are happening despite some bold promises to create a positive Olympic legacy — promises such as building more social housing, reducing homelessness, and not displacing poor people to make way for Olympics-driven development.
We are so proud of these games that we asked the International Olympic Committee to make these games part of the official 2010 program. The fact that they didn’t did not deter the 600 Poverty Olympics fans from attending! We hope that shining the international spotlight on the dark side of our prosperous city and province might finally convince our governments to take action.
We hope, dear visitor, that you’ll take a few minutes to look around… Learn more about the poverty amid plenty… Help us make change by taking some simple actions… And don’t forget to invite your friends to visit our fair city!