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Poverty Olympics torch en route to Vancouver

It travels with a tiny entourage and a fraction of the fanfare of the real Olympic torch. But, via foot, public transit and boat, the Poverty Olympics torch is making its way to Vancouver, where, this weekend it will kick off a different kind of games.

The Tyee reached Trish Garner, one of the organizers of the Poverty Olympics, in Surrey this afternoon where the three-person crew had just wrapped up a short torch celebration with a community youth group. The torch itself is "probably over ten foot and maybe 200 pounds," said Garner, so the team also built a smaller stand-in torch (made from a plunger) to use on the Skytrain and on a kayak leg to Deep Cover this Friday.

"The whole way on our own steam, that's the whole idea," Garner said. "We're really doing this because we want to show the world that B.C. has a serious problem. . . Things are looking bad for British Columbians, but the solutions are actually pretty simple: Raise welfare, raise minimum wage and build more affordable housing."

The torch will arrive in Vancouver this Sunday, for the Poverty Olympics opening ceremony and games.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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