I am really pissed about this.
Last week the manager of the Empress Hotel in Victoria reported they had just lost a conference contract worth $200,000 from a Washington DC company on their second follow-up visit to Victoria because of "the quality of the shops and aggressive panhandlers".
Hey DC tourists, not enough high end shopping up here for ya?
And, coming from Washington DC, you are of course completely unfamiliar with the concept of panhandlers.
Don't let the door hit your fat tourist ass on the way out.
This week, CBC refocused the story with this headline :"Conference organizers scared off by aggressive panhandlers".
Whoa! What happened to the crappy shopping angle?
It wouldn't be easier to just put the whole blame on homeless people, would it?
Here's the odious Lib MLA(Van/Burrard) Lorne Mayencourt on Friday's CBC Almanac.
After citing and agreeing with complaints from the Downtown Vancouver Business Association that panhandlers are hurting tourism and should be charged under his "Safe Streets Act", he goes on to say :
"Many panhandlers are faking it" and they "go home to Coquitlam to shine up their BMWs".
Damn those panhandlers and their car payment problems.
You know, Lorne, I don't think the 200,000 homeless in Canada, one third of whom are kids, are panhandling to pay off their $60K BMWs. No, I'm guessing they're doing it because when they were little kids, they lay in bed at night dreaming of growing up to scrape crud off windshields for a loonie a pop.
And with its cutbacks in services, the Campbell government is helping them to achieve that goal.
Cost of current band-aid approach to homelessness - $1 billion Cdn per year in health care, criminal justice, social services.Cost of eradicating homelessness
- $3.5 billion in affordable housing and social services.Cost of 2010 Games so far
- $3 - 4 billion, not including infrastructure improvements.
Coz that's what this is about, isn't it? Cleaning up the streets for the Big 5 Ring Circus.
But thanks again, Lorne, for bringing up the panhandlers in BMWs meme.
And for pointing out that poverty is primarily a tourism problem.
Props to the Almanac host and callers for chewing out his sorry ass.