Glenn Beck claims Vancouver "lost" a billion dollars when it "had" the Olympics

Complete. Brain. Melt.

This just made me go full retard. There’s no going back.

(via cameronr)

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Watch the Junos with Only

We all know that the JUNO Awards are the most important media event in Canadian history and an occasion of this magnitude requires CONSTANT and IN DEPTH coverage.

That is why, dear friends, we’ll be live blogging the 2009 JUNO Awards from the Only Magazine Media Gondola overlooking beautiful and lovely Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. From there we’ll be using specially designed software to aggregate musings from your favorite Only Magazine staffers who will be distributed throughout the world to measure the global impact of these awards as the action unfolds.

With writers in London UK, Toronto, New York, and one secretly embedded member up the street at GM Place, the JUNO Awards will finally receive the attention it deserves. We’ll also be making dinner and getting loaded.

No big deal. It’s what we do.

All the action will begin on this page: http://onlymagazine.net/live at 5pm PT.

Please join us.

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Security services protect Olympics from hippie threat, patchouli

Vancouver Island hippies in their natural habitat

Protestors are the number one security threat to the 2010 Games, it appears to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. So maybe that explains why officers with the Integrated Security Unit are running around Victoria trying to convince hippies to spy on each other.

But the cops may find that peaceniks and bohemians are too street-smart to play spy games. Vancouver Island long-hairs know better than to give information to police, especially when it’s obvious that no crime has been committed.
“I said to the officer, there’s no way I am going to snitch on my friends!” bookstore owner Robert Garfat tells me, a little indignantly.

The long-time Vancouver Island resident was shocked when he was approached earlier this month by RCMP constable Mike Smook of the Integrated Security Unit. Smook wanted information about Victoria’s No 2010 activists. But it’s not snitching, according to Smook – the police just want to use his eyes and ears.

Garfat was troubled by the encounter and unsure if he should tell others, but then made up his mind that people should know what the police are up to.

“My feeling is that we should say something because if they’re going out into the community trying to intimidate people and to try and co-opt people into becoming informants, that’s like Big Brother,” he says.

A second local activist – who asked not to be named – says the police have come to his door asking to speak to all the residents, as well as taking pictures of everyone who came and left the building.

“None of those questioned had any arrests or previous charges,” the young man says. “The cops friggin’ bothered us for no good reason other than owning literature that is in opposition to the Olympics.”

Others in the community have similar stories. According to several people who contacted us privately this week, the RCMP has succeeded in recruiting at least one informant – a child of 15. She has been cooperating with police for months, they said.

Leaving aside questions of whether this is legal or ethical, the tactic is troubling. If Victoria social justice advocates are so dangerous, isn’t it risky to send a child to spy on them? And if they’re not dangerous, why spy on them at all?

We should all be aware that the police are not gathering information so they can hand out commendations for being great social-justice activists and good citizens. They are gathering information that will potentially put people in jail — preemptively — to prevent them from getting a message to the world about the social conditions here. Why are so many people homeless? Why are so many people in poverty? Why is there a lack of decent housing across B.C. on the reserves? Why are we still destroying old-growth forests for sports events? These are the questions we want to get out to the world, and we believe the police are trying to stop this from happening.

Conducting surveillance and recruiting informants in the absence of any crime violates the Charter, in my opinion. Domestic spying without a clear law enforcement objective does not help national security – it just intimidates citizens who have done nothing wrong (besides criticizing the government.). Fishing expeditions are not legal. Prior restraint on free speech is not legal. Warrantless wiretaps are not legal either, or at least they weren’t the last time I checked.

In fact, we have the right to associate with whoever we want, even with people who criticize the Olympics or take governments to task for ignoring poverty, homelessness and the ongoing effects of racism in our society.

Police statements in the media about ‘consulting with activists’ are nonsense. Their clumsy and heavy-handed attempts to meet privately with individuals are causing controversy, intimidating activists and sowing distrust in the community. There are serious concerns that the police may resort to coercion and bribes to try and force people to inform on their friends.

The BC Civil Liberties Association tried to meet with the ISU for an exchange of views and advice, but backed out on finding it was an exercise in frustration.

“It hasn’t been easy when dealing with the authorities,” said Michael Byers, UBC professor and BCCLA member. “With respect, we have pretty much hit a brick wall.”

“In my view, the ISU … has lost sight of those human rights principles and have focused excessively on the search for “perfect security.”

Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, a member of the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) in Vancouver, was approached by police last month. She says, “The ORN is not interested in talking with police about the conditions under which we exercise our rights to assembly and expression. They can read the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

And if the RCMP can’t be bothered to read the Charter, maybe we should read it to them, real slow, so that they understand.

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Credit Check: Clear and prescient danger

+5 It is probably time to leave your shithole small town when it wants to import Vancouver’s garbage.

-5 Of course the Olympic village developers don’t need a bailout. They are merely discussing access to cash with the three levels of government.

-5 Oh, and a economic downturn may hurt the Olympic dividend. Thank goodness it was all planned in secret so the public wouldn’t find out until it was too late.

+10 North Vancouver council has approved a giant wind turbine on top of Grouse Mountain to be our ‘Hollywood’ sign or giant Brazilian Jesus. And the debate was fascinating: ‘It’s a clear and present danger to bats,” said [Councillor] Harris, who criticized the turbine as “another tourist attraction” for Grouse Mountain Resorts.’

+5 After years of ah shucking, we’re a small town, keep your big city busses and municipal sewer lines away from us crying, Abbottsford wants in the Metro Vancouver club.

Today: +10 This Year: - 158

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Credit Check: The next station is never going to be built

+5 The result of consultation with the public by Translink is not later hours for SkyTrain, the dropping of suburban zones, or a bus down First Avenue already. No, they made an iPhone app.

-10 AIDS made the leap from monkey to human due to new colonial cities at the beginning of the 20th Century, probably around Leopoldville. Fuck you, Belgium.

-10 The editor of the Vancouver Sun says she is dropping national politics because her readers find it icky.’

-5 Imagine! Someone found dead after leaving police custody.

Today: 20 This Year: 168

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Credit Check: What is the word for get out now?

-5 After ten years, the Oxford Canadian Dictionary has fired (• verb 1 propel (a bullet or projectile) from a gun or other weapon. 2 direct a rapid succession of (questions or statements) towards someone. 3 informal dismiss from a job. 4 supply (a furnace, power station, etc.) with fuel. 5 set fire to. 6 stimulate (the imagination or an emotion). 7 (fire up) fill with enthusiasm. 8 bake or dry (pottery, bricks, etc.) in a kiln. its staff and shut the office.

+10 The above now gives you no excuse to pass up buying Organizing Our Marvellous Neighbours: How to Feel Good About Canadian English a great book by Toronto journalist Joe Clark.

+ 1 The only reason ‘Naked B.C. robbery suspect dies after being Tasered by RCMP is covered in the National Post because the Post can kill two birds: use the word naked and meet their BC story quota.

+15 In Seattle, a bank robber used Craiglist to hire henchmen.

+10 That $700b bailout not only keeps the world’s economy in business for another week, it keeps American wooden-arrow manufacturers, mine rescuers, and rum runners in the pink.

Today: +31 This Year: - 148

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Credit Check: Vancouver’s Fastest Growing Newspaper

-1 Denise Donlan, formerly of MuchMusic and Sony Music, is the new head of CBC Radio One, foretelling a very, very middle-of-the-road future for the Mother Corp.

+ 1 Cirque du Soleil too busy for 2010 Olympics ceremonies. When even Cirque won’t take your money, you know you have a dog on your hands.

- 1 Former New York mayor Rudy Guliani speaks in Surrey tonight on leadership methods that worked for him in the Big Apple. Namely, piss everyone off, censor art, and arrest the homeless.

+5 The West End Residents Association points out that Business Improvement Areas are unaccountable to citizens and far too powerful.

+10 The Metro is Vancouver’s fastest growing newspaper. But wait, 24 Hours has grown more than any other newspaper.

Today: +13 This Year: - 179

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Credit Check: Privatise the Homeless

-25 There has been a 373 per cent increase in homelessness since 2002. This is shocking, but really, who is surprised? The municipal, provincial, and federal governments haven’t given a shit yet.

+ 1 Looks like the BC government has got themselves a T.V. station, changing the Knowledge Network from education over the airways to a provincial crown corporation. Sure, it’s all documentaries and kid shows now, but we await the guidance that Victoria is sure to give it to ‘balance’ the media.

- 5 The Fraser Institute says that… Oh, fuck it, that sentence always ends with ‘privatise it.’

+/- Our Chuck is guest Brewing at Beyond Robson and pissing off the Kerrisdale people.

Today: - 29 This Year: - 192

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Credit Check: Burning Bridges

-5 The Vancouver Board of Trade, having to choose between two masters, picks the Federal Tories over the provincial Liberals and says carbon taxes are bad. And global warming is a lie. Are you listening, sheeple? We’re the Board of Trade, not some goddamn Chamber of Commerce.

+ 20 Gordon Price on the suggestion that we need more bridges: ‘Once again, the astroturfers from the Valley predict doom, and call for billions to be spent on a way of life that assumes cheap fossil fuels and takes no account of climate change. But here’s the bizarre part: they believe the Vancouver region should be more like Calgary! That’s their vision: a sprawling prairie city from here to Hope.’

- 5 Oh god, this sounds painful. Vanoc is asking for punters to buy tickets for so-called victory parties at BC Place before they know for sure if their favourite artists will be performing. They threaten to book the likes of ‘Bryan Adams, Michael Buble and Sarah McLachlan’ but only if you buy tickets. Your decision is clear.

+/- Only’s Civic Election Coverage has been added to Voter Funded Media’s Vancouver Election Experiment. This is part of a larger project in which the hosts propose that society funds the media that people vote for. In this case, last week Sean Orr won $150 for bedbug powder, so they do put their money where their mouth is.

Today: + 10 This Year: - 163

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Credit Check: Riding the rails

-1 Bus crashes have increased 63 per cent this year.

+ 10 VIA Rail thrilled with surging interest in rail. Now, if they didn’t charge more than Air Canada to strap-hang it across Canada for five days, they may get some customers.

- 1 Profit doubles at Lululemon. And yet people wonder why artists are leaving the city.

- 1 Theo Tams is the new Canadian Idol. And the seventh seal has been opened.

- 1 Transit police chief wants to put his cops on bikes to improve service. Not riding on trains. Not sticking a cop on a chair in a station with a cup of coffee watching over things. No, he wants them on bikes away from those boring transit things.

- 1 Theo Tams is the new Canadian Idol. And the seventh seal has been opened.

Today: + 6 This Year: - 173

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