Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo encouraged aspiring Sea to Sky leaders to "lead us all to calmer waters," in two Sea to Sky graduating addresses last week.
Speaking at the Whistler Forum for Dialogue’s 16-member leadership Sea to Sky cohort graduation luncheon in Whistler, the former journalist and politician noted that although she is supposed to keep "a zipped mouth" on matters political or economic, she felt compelled to address diversity in the 2010 Winter Games. Observing that since this past winter’s Torino games, she has been approached by many B.C. cultural groups concerned about being represented at the Games, and she called upon Whistler’s aspiring leaders to consider all voices that need to be heard.
"As one who was a child when the Japanese Canadians were interned, (I believe) each of us must do our part to guard against anti-Muslem hysteria and protect the rights of all citizens."
Campagnolo said the 2010 Games are an opportunity to "open the doors very wide" on the West Coast and prove to the nation and the world that we are the most diversified region in Canada.
The former federal Minister of Sport, who has a personal interest in peacekeeping, also criticized the current lack of peace negotiations occurring worldwide.
"I believe that the ‘my way or else’ approach does not work in a 21 st century context. One may have the power to shut down debate and ‘just do it,’ but the ramifications of doing so are to continually fight a rear-guard action that is both costly and time consuming."
Campagnolo praised the collaborative leadership graduates’ mediation skills of listening and avoiding negotiation one-upmanship they acquired in the 10-month program organized by Whistler Forum for Dialogue, a non-profit organization based on the teachings of U.S. pollster Daniel Yankelovitch.
Earlier that day the Lieutenant Governor gave a similar presentation in Squamish to First Nations members. She noted the collaborative decision-making that had occurred in establishing a water treatment plant to deal with contaminants from the abandoned Brittannia Copper Mine. She also expressed hope that leadership skills have progressed since her days as a Minister of Parliament when debates in the House of Commons "took place across an aisle precisely two-sword points apart with all the finesse of the NHL on a bad night."
The Whistler luncheon held at the Westin Resort’s Aubergine Grill also featured a film produced by two Whistler Secondary students in cooperation with a cohort team. Live the Dream , with a cameo appearance by Mayor Ken Melamed, is a how-to guide for healthy living for Whistler youth. Other cohort projects included an environmental inventory and an arts and culture audit.