Bread Not Circuses
Asking the critical questions about the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid

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Updates February 16, 2000


Media release
Bread Not Circuses Coalition

Toronto's 2008 Olympic bid fails to meet City Council's minimum social and financial standards.

It's easier for 3 levels of governments
to build sports palaces than homes

City Council's Economic Development Committee should see beyond the Olympic hoopla and look at the real facts of the Games. The Games will bring a financial and social mess to Toronto says the Bread Not Circuses Coalition. TOBid's Master Plan fails to meet the minimal conditions set out by City Council to create a financially and socially responsible games.

Despite the Olympic boosters have spent 4 years preparing the bid, there are no clear plans for protecting low-income tenants, no support for social housing, no clear environmental plan, and no financial plans. The Olympic master plan contains lots of Olympic-sized promises ­ no clear plans to follow through with any of them.

All three levels of government are jumping on the Olympic bandwagon when there is no social, affordable or non-profit housing, no National Housing Strategy, and the conditions in Toronto's shelters are so desperate that palliative care areas being opened so the homeless can die with some respect. It's easier to build shorts palaces than homes.

Mel Lastman could not have been more wrong when he said, in 1998, "the games won't cost the taxpayer a cent". City council isn't getting the full accounting of the real costs of the Games. No Olympic money will cover the debt. People of Toronto are on the hook for paying for the Games while the International Olympic Committee walks off with millions. Meanwhile the budget is missing other huge costs: soil re-mediation, the promised social investment fund social , support for tenant protect and the list goes on.

Bread Not Circuses Coalition and affiliated organizations will make their deputations tomorrow at Economic Development Committee in City Council Chambers:
Richard Milgrom: Architect, Bread Not Circuses Coalition: 2:10 p.m. (410-2872)
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty: 2: 15 p.m. (925-6939)
Toronto Disaster Relief Committee: 4:10 p.m. (703-8482 ext 113)

Bread Not Circuses
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel. - 416-723-1695
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Updated: February 16, 2000