When you host the Olympics, one of the things you want to do is tidy up your city just before everyone comes to town. That way people will see how clean and great your city is and will hopefully come back to visit again some day.
But it's tough cleaning up a city, especially when smelly homeless junkies are out doing heroin and crack all over your streets. So what do you do when you're looking to cut the homeless problem in your city by 50% by the time the Olympics come to town? Why, you stick said homeless drug addicts on a one-way plane out of town is what you do.
Yep, Vancouver is in the midst of seriously considering a plan to fly homeless and drug addicted individuals out of the city in time for the 2010 Olympics. That's because Vancouver - despite having the reputation of a clean city - has what a U.N. official recently called one of the world's worst slums in an affluent city. And the plan to send people off on planes wasn't cooked up by some nut. It was devised by the Chief of Police, the Civil City Commissioner, and a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade. Classy.
The plan is to collect a ton of donated frequent flyer miles and then "send people back to where they came from." Which I believe would be the gutter...of some other city. Truly a problem solving plan if ever there was one.
And just so everyone knows it's serious, the chairman of the Vancouver Board of Trade has already donated 100,000 miles. Because those miles definitely get to the root of the problem.
If you think this is bad (or maybe you think it's good), Atlanta did something similar in 1996 just before the Olympics. They rounded up as many homeless people as they could find, threw them on buses, drove them to the edge of the city and then threatened them with six months of jail time if they returned. Sort of like Rambo, except no homeless people came back and shot up a police station. Yet.
But hey, at least homeless people in the US and Canada get free plane trips and bus rides when the Olympics come to town. I have a feeling they won't be doing that in China.