- BC Ferry, passing our house, clearly has the Olympic spirit.
Vancouver and its province, British Columbia, are largely ambivalent about their Olympics. The games, of course, start today. I share this ambivalence, as I originally was in favour of the games. That is why I have started calling them the “OY-limpics”.
For work, I had been present at the official announcement at GM Place Stadium on July 2, 2003, when Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, named Vancouver-Whistler as the winner of the bid. We watched M. Rogge on a giant screen in the arena. Cheering and other such jubilation erupted as soon as he pronounced the syllable, “van“.
Tourism is the largest legal segment of BC’s economy (can you guess what is purportedly the largest economic driver of all, an illegal one?). I was supportive of the anticipated boost we would see from “welcoming the world to Vancouver”.However, in the past seven years, there have been predictable cost over-runs and many other challenges. For me, though, it has been the attempts to limit freedom of speech in Vancouver, which was the final straw. There is still a strong protest movement throughout the city. Two friends from the island, D and V, have purchased tickets for several events but also will be attending the large protest today of the Olympics Resistance Network, with D’s brother being a chief organizer behind the ORN. I relish this kind of contradictory impulse, as it underscores the inconsistencies in all of us.
Chutney, mise-en-place (or everything is ready to go – for those who do not speak French or culinary…)
Many contradictory aspects abound:
There are issues on social housing for the homeless, many of which are still unresolved, yet there is a brand-new fast “Sky Train” from the airport downtown – the train is environmentally sound, practical, and fast.
The streets in Vancouver last week were starting to buzz with excitement about Vancouver and Canada hosting the event, even while many urban residents were grumbling about more and more disruption in parking, public transit, and the bizarre official messages warning commuters to leave three hours early from work to return home (at 2:00 p.m.!).
The highway from Vancouver to Whistler, formerly known as the “Sea-to-Sky”, was a great hazard. Another nickname for it was, “The-Ski-then-Die Highway”. Having lived in Lions Bay, between West Vancouver and Whistler, I remember the risky hairpin curves of what was a two-to-three-lane highway, hugging cliffs along Howe Sound. It was not fun on a rainy, windy winter’s night. Now it is much safer, with more passing and turning lanes, but there are still many environmental concerns about how it was implemented, not to mention the costs again.
Mediterranean Apricot-Date Chutney recipe Continue reading