Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for the week of April 24th


Festival extraordinary

Wow, what a Festival! Once again the World Ski and Snowboard Festival delivered an extraordinary experience for our many guests and community members.

We are proud to be a small part of the festival, and we would like to express our gratitude to the many dedicated people that make these amazing ten days happen.

In our second year as presenting sponsor of the Intersection film event, we couldn't be more proud of the six amazing teams that put together some of the most exceptional footage in just seven days.

All the films were of such a high calibre that I am sure everyone who attended the event was truly impressed. But it was the talent of Whistler's own The Manboys who took both top prize and also won the votes of the crowd with their impressive footage, skill and humour. Be sure to check them out at themanboys.com

Once again, we experienced an incredible response to our free demo area on Whistler Mountain throughout the festival. There are many people behind the scenes who deserve tremendous thanks.

We could not have delivered the Bromley Baseboard Experience without the incredible coordination by the team at Watermark, the dedication and commitment of the staff and management at Whistler Blackcomb, the support of our partners at Whistler Sport Legacies and, of course, the tremendous effort by the many volunteers who helped get us up and running each day.

We are grateful to be a part of such an amazing celebration of winter sports and entertainment, and we look forward to seeing you back on the snow next season at Whistler Olympic Park!

Carson Hamm

Director, Bromley Sports Ltd.

Youth gallery a success

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the artists who made the first State of the Art Youth Gallery possible this year.

Also, big thanks to Sue Eckersley and Kevani Macdonald for giving the high school students of Whistler a place to show their art at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival. Without your support this amazing event would never have happened. A special thank you to Harvey Lim of Art Junction for his amazing framing.

Thanks everyone!

Kayley Ogilvie-Turner

WSS Grade 10, curator of the Youth Gallery

Other issues than the grizzly hunt

Thanks very much to everyone who came to the sellout "Night of the Grizzlies" at Millennium Place on April 8, hosted by the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative and AWARE.

The April 17 Pique contains a letter from Jacqueline Hohmann who raises the question of why the issue of grizzly bear hunting in B.C .was not addressed.

It is a fair question and we will be sure to address it in subsequent presentations. Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative is focused on the fate of the five officially designated-as-threatened grizzly bear population units in southwest B.C.

In that context, it is very important to understand that the fact that grizzly bear hunting is allowed in parts of B.C. is not the problem facing these five unhunted threatened populations.

There is no legal hunt for grizzly bears in threatened populations in B.C., so even if grizzly bear hunting was banned tomorrow, little if anything would change for the better for southwest B.C.'s threatened grizzly bears, including the four populations that intersect the Sea to Sky region. Some isolated and fragmented populations with very low numbers (Garibaldi-Pitt, Stein-Nahatlatch and North Cascades) are at real risk of dying out regardless of the province's policy on grizzly-bear hunting.

Safeguarding these remaining grizzlies and restoring the populations to viable numbers depends on a variety of measures that are unrelated to grizzly bear hunting in B.C. and need to be addressed regardless of the hunt issue:

• reducing mortality by illegal hunting (i.e. poaching), hunters mistaking grizzly bears for black bears, grizzlies being shot as a perceived threat, and conflicts over poorly managed attractants (e.g. garbage, chicken coops, etc.);

• ensuring that there is sufficient suitable habitat with a range of seasonal foods;

• managing cumulative human activity, so grizzly bears are not pushed out of the remaining secure habitats they have;

• providing safe linkages between populations of bears, so they can connect with one another (genetic flow) and repopulate.

The one way that the hunt may affect recovery of grizzly bears is hunting in adjacent, more abundant populations. The desire is to have strong populations nearby, so that bears will naturally move out and help repopulate habitat in our depleted populations.

As we all know, the question of a legal grizzly bear hunt in B.C. is very much in the news. But regardless of any future decisions that society and government may make on the future of grizzly hunting in B.C., our threatened grizzlies need the help of all of us with less high profile, but vital issues, like habitat, displacement, cumulative effects, and connectivity if they are to remain and thrive in our wilderness backyard.

Johnny Mikes

Field director

Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative


Comparing Whistler

Whistler is apparently the largest ski resort in North America, but how does it rank worldwide?

There are lots of resorts in the U.S. and Western Europe that are much smaller than Whistler, but they are next door to other resorts, each offering totally different challenges, while Whistler stands alone. 

For example the French Northern Alps have 137 resorts and the Southern Alps have 70. The whole area is roughly 300 kilometres by 150 kilometres.

In the Northern Alps "les 3 Vallées" are eight connected resorts with a total of 338 slopes and 600 kilometres of pistes. A single card gives access to all the resorts. This is only one of several "big clusters," and it is also very easy to go on the other side of the Alps.

Whistler's ranking doesn't mean anything unless we know how many ski resorts were surveyed, what criteria were used, who did the ranking etc. This is also true about the various rankings of Vancouver.

The latest Mercer Report ranks Vancouver fifth in the world, but this ranking is not done for Vancouverites, or for average person thinking of moving here.

The Mercer Report is strictly for international businesses that send executives to a foreign country for a while. These companies use the report to calculate the level of a quality-of-living or "hardship" allowance to compensate for a decrease in the quality of living between home and host locations, and a mobility premium to compensate for the inconvenience of being uprooted and having to work in another country.

The high ranking of Vancouver simply means that the above compensations will be lower for an executive moving to Vancouver than if he moved to Tokyo or Paris, etc. Moving to Vancouver will still be a hardship.

One ranking, made for young entrepreneurs, artists etc. that want to settle in a foreign town, ranked Vancouver 19th in 2012 and 2013, and in the mid-teens in earlier years. Its best score was eighth in 2008.

Another ranking, about the "100 world cities for an innovation economy," had Vancouver 35th in 2012-13.

Interestingly, all these surveys tend to give high marks to second-tier cities that are clean, charming but also on the boring side. Years ago the Mercer report had a great quote, cancelled since, that might apply to Whistler too: 

"A city with a high Quality of Living index is a safe and stable one, but it may be lacking the dynamic 'je ne sais quoi' that makes people want to live in world-renowned cities such as Paris, Tokyo, London or New York. Sometimes you need a little spice to make a city exciting. But that 'spice' may also give a city a lower ranking."

J-L Brussac


Losing another piece of Whistler's soul

As many of you know, one of the last pieces of Whistler's soul, Citta's, will be shutting its doors for good at the end of this May! It has been part of Whistler for almost 30 years. And to me it's been a place of fantastic memories. Some I don't remember, but people tell me.

In my 19 years of Whistler, I have slowly seen pieces of Whistler's soul replaced or torn down, Old Dusty's and the Boot to name a few. And now, after 30 years in the heart of Whistler village, another piece of Whistler's soul will be gone!

Gone (will be) the place where I and countless others had their first drink when they moved to town!

Gone, the one place where you could go and sit by yourself and in 20 minutes, have eight friends sitting with you, and laughing about something that happened the night before.

Gone the place where many people have meet their future husbands or wives!

Gone, the Citta Challenge. I remember when I first got here 19 years ago and saw what was going on and vowed that I would never miss another one. Well out of the 18 others since, I've missed four. And although (I've) never competed (I) sure had a fun time helping out.

Gone, the family-owned business that was started when it was just a small town — when none of these big businesses were here.

Gone, to all the people who have come here and had Citta's make their Whistler experience that much better!

I could sit here and go on and on about what Citta's means to me. Yes, I do work at Citta's, and yes another restaurant is opening in the Citta's space and all Citta's is, is a name. But it's just a part of Whistler soul that will be gone for good!! And that makes myself, and probably many others sad.

I can't thank Citta's enough for all the great times I had here as a patron, and a employee.

Citta's will always live on in my SOUL!!! Please make sure you enjoy some of Citta's soul before it's gone!!

Jeremy "Stinky" Peterson


Rather be shot at, it seems

Interesting note this weekend on the 10 worst jobs released by Career Cast. Seems that being a faller is ranked the worst job, followed by newspaper reporter.

OK it's true that reporters not only have to write 10 pieces a day, get yelled at by the public, government, and then stand there in disbelief as their editor cuts the story into little tiny pieces, that resembles little of the original penmanship. The bit that shocked me was that being in the military is deemed better, ranked at number three.

Rather be shot at, it seems, than write a story.

John Buchanan

former editor, writer, of the Snooper (age 11 at the time)