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Garibaldi Park stakeholders voice concerns over process

Several stakeholders lobby environment minister

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A chorus of voices has chimed in to express concerns that Whistler Blackcomb has seen the revamped Garibaldi Park plan ahead of other stakeholders.

A second letter has now been sent to BC's Environment Minister, Mary Polak. It comes from seven clubs, including the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC and the British Columbia Mountaineering Club, representing roughly 10,000 members. The signatories add credence to concerns expressed in an earlier letter from Jayson Faulkner, chair of the Spearhead Huts Committee.

"We felt like it would put more weight onto the whole issue of the process," said Faulkner, of the second letter.

"(We're) feeling a little choked and upset about how this whole thing has rolled out."

The stakeholders are concerned about due process. For almost two years the province has been working on an amendment to the Garibaldi Park plan, focusing on the Spearhead area, in Whistler's backyard and on the fringe of Whistler Blackcomb's boundary.

The two-year process included extensive public consultation with stakeholders. All of that public consultation ended and the province is working on final approval of the plan.

Last week, however, Whistler Blackcomb confirmed it has met with the province in recent weeks to discuss the plan and other land use matters.

Faulkner said: "We're calling for some accountability.

"We would like to see the language as it was presented to Whistler Blackcomb.

"It staggers me that somehow all these other groups of stakeholders don't have that privilege. I just don't understand that."

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