Bread Not Circuses Coalition
c/o #231 - 119 Scadding Avenue
Toronto,Ontario, Canada, M5A 4H8
Tel: (416)367-5402
Email: inquiries@breadnotcircuses.org

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Dear friends:

On March 4, 1998, Toronto City Council decided to endorse "in principle" a bid for the 2008 Olympics. The Olympic Games, if staged in Toronto, will be the biggest and most costly mega-project in the history of our city. The costs are not only measured in the billions of public and private dollars required to stage the Games, but also in social and environmental terms. Although the Games last only about two weeks, the financial, social and environmental impacts will last for years. While all the people of Toronto will share in the costs, without proper planning, any benefits will not be shared equally.

Bread Not Circuses was started in 1989. By September, 1990, it had grown to become a coalition of more than 1,500 individuals and almost 60 organizations with critical concerns about Toronto's bid for the 1996 Games. Since 1990 a small group has continued to research the impact of megaprojects and the Olympics internationally. We have worked with groups in Atlanta, Sydney, Melbourne, Nagano, Boston, and Cape Town, South Africa ­ to name just a few. Now it is time to re-connect with our original endorsers and contact new individuals and groups.

We are asking you to endorse and participate in the Bread Not Circuses Coalition.

Once again we are asking tough questions. We are asking that the Toronto Olympic bid be conditional on the following:

  • a full, fair, open, and representational public participation process.
  • full analysis of the financial, social and environmental impact, and effective strategies iin place to ensure any negative impact, is avoided.
  • no job loss in municipal public sector as a result of Toronto's Olympic bid.
  • a series of standards for staging the Games to be developed through a public process with the option of withdrawing the bid if the standards are not met.

The Coalition in 1998, as in 1989, is starting by asking questions. We are saying, at this point, that we oppose the 2008 Olympic bid. We want to evaluate this scheme to see if the bid is truly beneficial for the people of Toronto.

Attached, please find our list of standards for a socially responsible Olympics, which gives a sense of the significant concerns of our members. We have already formally submitted these standards to the City of Toronto, and the 2008 bid committee, and have been told that our concerns are "under consideration".

We need the active involvement of you and/or your organisation to ensure that the critical concerns of many Torontonians regarding the Olympic bid can be heard.

You can start with three simple things:

1. Please send in the attached endorsement statement

2. Call your municipal councillor. Ask them to state their position on the Olympic bid. Ask if they would be willing to support the details standards for a socially responsible Games.

3. Attend the next Coalition meeting

Thanks for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.
In you have internet access, please check out our new site on the web (the URL is listed in our letterhead), or send us an e-mail message. Or you can call or write to our Toronto address.

In solidarity,



Michael Shapcott & Jan Borowy
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To the Bread Not Circuses Coalition


_______Yes, My organization endorses the Bread Not Circuses Coalition

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