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Archive for 'Olympics'

Canada’s Job Market: Slower, Lower, Weaker

The following commentary on yesterday’s job numbers is quoted in today’s National Post (page FP4): The Olympic motto may be “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” but Canada’s employment growth is slower, lower and weaker going into the winter games. Of the 29,000 Canadians who supposedly gained employment in January, 28,000 reported being self-employed. Only 1,000 found jobs […]

The Vision Thing (Anarchy in BC edition)

For many years now, the year 2010 had an almost mythic quality to it. More than just a decade-ending round number (we never collectively named that decade; I like “the naughties” myself), it had deep meaning for BC because THEY WERE COMING. The Olympics. Vancouver 2010. In the early days, utopian olympianism ruled the province. […]

And now for the bill: the cost of the Olympics

The BC government has released its final estimates of the cost of staging the 2010 Winter Games, highlighting the problems this government has with telling the truth (other examples include the 2009 pre-election fudge-it budget, and the HST). The Tyee reports: British Columbia’s government spent $325 million more on the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics […]

Will the Loonie Own the Podium?

The main question about this morning’s Consumer Price Index is whether it will propel the Canadian dollar to parity with the American dollar. Higher inflation would increase the chances of our central bank raising interest rates sooner rather than later. Higher interest rates would make the loonie a more attractive holding for international financiers. In […]

First the party, then the hangover

It’s shocking to think that the 2010 Winter Games are now exactly one month away. Yes, the banners are dropping down the side of downtown buildings; huge tents are being erected anywhere there is open space; advertising from any but the Olympic sponsors has all but disappeared (I hereby challenge any Olympic athlete to eat […]

Olympic Alchemy

Since Vancouver is the next Olympic city, I have a morbid fascination with the ongoing trials and tribulations that we call the Olympics. Suffice it to say that China definitely got a black eye from the extra publicity in the lead-up to the Games, on Tibet, crackdowns on protest, pollution and smog, and displaced workers […]

The Workers’ Olympics?

On the eve of the Beijing Olympics, recognition should certainly go to the scores of workers who toiled to build the stunning spors palaces and who have made China into the economic powerhouse it is today.  Instead, many have received layoff notices and warnings to leave the Chinese capital, as the New York Times reported […]

The Poverty Olympics

Yesterday, I attended the Poverty Olympics, held in the heart of the Downtown Eastside, aka Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. It was a wonderful few hours of well-orchestrated political satire. There were opening and closing ceremonies, a torch ceremony, a new mascot (Itchy the bedbug), and of course, events (the poverty line high jump, the welfare hurdles, […]

More on the Olympics and poverty in Vancouver

My office window looks out over Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, an area notorious for being Canada’s poorest postal code. Back when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympics, we pointed out that the world’s media would be stationed just ten minutes walk away from truly abject poverty, and when the cameras started rolling, it may not be […]

Housing the homeless before the 2010 Olympics

If our governments cannot get their heads out of the sand and start building some housing for those who desperately need it, we can expect more negative images of BC and Vancouver. As captured by The Washington Post: When the Winter Olympics open in Vancouver, visitors will find one of the most alluring cities in […]

Olympic costs and benefits revisited

Way back in 2003, the CCPA produced a cost-benefit analysis of the 2010 Olympic Games. I think it still stands the test of time, and in any event it was the only such document produced that attempted to distinguish between costs and benefits in a coherent framework (the government tended to confuse the two, with […]

The Olympian Spirit, Copyright Style

While we’re all breathlessly awaiting the federal government’s long-promised revisions to the Copyright Act, interested parties may want to check out Bill C-47, the federal government’s proposed legislation to grant extra special intellectual property right protection for the Olympic movement and its related symbols.  For a summary of the legislation, check out the Library of […]

The China Syndrome

The following, from today’s Toronto Star, includes some commentary from yours truly: The China syndrome: A new condition characterized by the apparent reluctance of a certain national government to embrace an emerging, global economic power May 05, 2007

Jack Mintz on Budget 2007

In yesterday’s Financial Post, Jack Mintz repeated the notions that the Budget featured “no broad tax relief” and big spending. He wrote, “Certainly, the idea of making the tax structure more efficient, fair and simple takes a back seat to the rash of special politically driven measures.” However, the tax measures that Mintz specifically endorses […]

Vancouver’s housing challenge

The story below was the banner headline piece on page one of today’s Vancouver Sun, and is a perfect choice for the “we told you so” file. Three years ago, after being awarded the 2010 Olympics, our BC Solutions Budget (and in subsequent editions) made many of the same points as the Olympics Housing Roundtable’s […]

Lies, damned lies and the Olympics

This CP article (published in the Globe and Mail) poo-poos the growing concern that Vancouver’s Olympic Games are coming in at great expense. Specifically, the article questions what projects should be included in the total price tag. The article should come with a warning, however: content written by the wife of former Finance Minister to […]

Olympic costs escalate

Back when Vancouver made its Olympic bid, the boosterism was phenomenal. The games were going to create 244,000 new jobs, $10.7 billion of economic activity, and so on. The BC government, who is on the hook for any cost over-runs, never did do a proper cost-benefit analysis of the games. In fact, they willfully confused […]