Housing activists to hold rally at noon

One year after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Olympic Village is a ghost town. While developers and marketers try many different tricks to recoup tax-payer’s money, housing activists want the promise of social housing delivered. At noon on Saturday, they held a  Housing Rally, calling for safe, affordable housing within the empty units at the Olympic Village and beyond.

Read about the housing crisis in Vancouver here and here.

Read about the empty Olympic Village here.

Read more about the rally and tent village here.

UPDATE: Protesters were ordered off of the property in the Olympic Village by VPD, 10 were arrested and released without charges, read more here.

BC Government refuses to fund victims support during the 2010 Olympic/Paralympic Games while billions spent on security.

BC Government refuses to fund victims support
during the 2010 Olympic/Paralympic Games
while billions spent on security.

While Canada invites the world to play it up in our communities, several Vancouver and Sea to Sky Corridor community-based agencies are expected to provide service to international women and children experiencing domestic and sexual assault with zero additional funding.

“In addition to meeting the regular demands of our programming, community based agencies are expected to absorb the anticipated 10 to 36% increase in violence against women and children during the Olympics,” says Tara Franz, Executive Director of the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.

After 2 years of monthly discussions with the provincial government, and four months to go to the opening ceremony, victim service agencies have been told they are “on their own” to service the needs of both local and international victims of domestic and sexual assault.

“This issue of violence against women during the Winter Games is coalescing organizations in the anti-violence sector from Whistler to Vancouver. We are concerned about the demand on services because we want to support international visitors during their stay. We would like our provincial government to recognize we need their help,” explains Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of Battered Women Support Services.

Contact:     Tara Franz, Executive Director, Howe Sound Women’s Centre, 604-892-5748
Shannon Cooley Herdman, Women’s Programs Manager, HSWC, 604-892-5748
Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer, Executive Director, WAVAW, 604-771-1715
Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director, BWSS, 604-808-0507