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Pre-Olympic bid to house addicts under fire

Retailers accuse the B.C. government of cleaning up Vancouver streets at their expense

A group of retailers in downtown Vancouver is accusing the B.C. government of hurting their businesses by putting homeless drug addicts in hotel-style rooms above their stores.

"They just want these people off the streets for the Olympics," said clothing-store owner Claire Burke. "They don't actually care about the people. It's not a long-term solution."

The complaints are coming from two clothing stores and a bistro located on the ground floor of the Dominion Hotel on Abbott Street, in the tourist area of Gastown. It is one of 23 downtown hotels recently purchased and renovated by B.C. Housing for a total of $135 million in a bid to move the homeless off city streets.

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