Learning to co-exist
Hi, I'm Jane. Remember me?
I'm the black bear that you decided to shoot (with a tranquilizer gun) a few weekends ago during the Whistler triathlon while I was trying to have a snack with my babies. I'd like to know what you think your problem is?
For starters, I am not down here trying to steal your food. You just happened to put your houses and your parking lots and your races right in the middle of my dinner table. It's not my fault you didn't realize there was already somebody living here.
So you send me away so you can run — run I say. All I am doing is trying to eat and survive. Isn't that a little more important?
Anyway, just wanted to let you know I'll be back, of course. It is my house by the way, and my nose will always help me find my way back home.
So maybe instead of trying to move me all the time you could make a new plan. How about, let's say, move the triathlon route down to Whistler Cay or around the village, where, according to signs, you have already designated it a "bear free" zone? Not like we really know how to read signs.
As well, how about you try keeping your garbage and your food to yourself. Since I don't read, and this whole valley is my home, it is really hard for me to know your human rules about stealing each other's stuff. Mi casa es su casa, eh?
How am I supposed to know where the line is between my huckleberries on the edge of your yard and the smell of the hamburger bun wafting from your garbage can? It all smells great to me; and you think I am cute 20 metres away eating skunk cabbage, but a menace when I check the garbage next to it.
Finally, here is a novel thought — maybe you could create a safe place in your resort so I could eat something, somewhere natural below 900 metres without being shot at, or moved or harassed — say a "no humans allowed" space (because you can read signs — I think, maybe, sometimes?). Yeah, now we're talkin', because coexisting means I get to stay too, and eat, and be healthy and survive alongside you.
Jane the Triathlon Bear
(and Kathy Jenkins, Pemberton)
Subterfuge won't work in this election
Glossy flyers, vote-buying mailouts, millions of dollars handed out in Conservative ridings and months of Conservative attack ads — I laughed out loud when, after dropping the writ, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the other parties had been campaigning but his party had not! Now we're faced with the longest election campaign since 1872 (when three months was needed to collect ballots) in order to benefit the Conservatives who have the biggest proportion of wealthy and corporate supporters.
Mr. Harper talks loudly about looking after Canadian's financial interests, but by putting all eggs in the oil and gas extraction basket, his government has failed to diversify our economy. He proclaimed a balanced budget; but people will not forget this was only done by the fire sale sell-off of $3.2 billion GM shares, depleting the contingency fund of $2 billion and robbing the Employment Insurance of $3.4 billion (further denying those needing the assistance).
Raiding our assets to balance the budget in an election year will hurt us all in the long run.
This government has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars of Canadian's money on government ads attempting to buy our votes, all the while denying the recession we are falling into due to a non-diversified economy.
And we have one of the worst-performing economies in the developed world in spite of being told by Mr. Harper that it's all due to outside forces.
Canadians want better leadership, prudent management and a commitment to addressing climate change.
The recently passed (Un)Fair Elections act has the effect of making it harder to vote in the upcoming election (except for traditional Conservative supporters), and fear-mongering attack ads are designed to discourage voter turn-out.
I don't think this will work in this election since Canadians will see the subterfuge for what it is and have come to recognize that our best interests are not being served.
It's about being water wise
In Western Europe, as in Japan and other countries, homes have a water meter. The average price of a cubic meter is around four Euros.
An average household use is 120 cubic metres per year. Obviously and unfortunately "average" covers a wide range of consumption and prices.
One reason why European and others use less water is because dishwashers and washing machines have long been much more efficient than ours. Their washing machines automatically match the level of water, amount of laundry detergent, etc. to the actual amount of laundry.
Appliances and fixtures are also much more efficient (radiators, for example, automatically lower their temperature if a door or window is left partly open) as electricity and gas are expensive, but that's another story.
Builders do not equip a subdivision of new homes, or a whole apartment building, with the same appliances in each unit. Homeowners chose what they want, and not just appliances either. Wall colours or wallpaper, light fixtures, door handles, decorative plates for switches and plugs, curtain rods... the list goes on.
Tenants usually also often buy the appliances they want (along with many other things).
A cubic metre is 1,000 litres. One million litres is 1,000 cubic metres, so the price in Europe would be 4,000 Euros...quite a difference with what Nestle pays in B.C.
Please note that one million litres is not as huge an amount as one might think...If one actually used plastic cubes one metre long, one metre wide, one metre high, 1,000 cubic metres would fill a space 100 metres long, five metres wide and two metres high.
Roughly the space taken by 40 North-American parking spots.
Time for non-voters to step up
What I hear in all the letters and columns recently comes down to ''how do we beat the Conservatives in this election?''
Meanwhile all Conservative MPs are handing out big cheques to surprising places. In this riding imagine a salmon spawning facility getting paid out of the blue, while laws enacted have crippled fish conservation.
If you are thinking strategic voting will make a difference here, let us look at last election. Combine the NDP, Liberal, Green, Libertarian, Marxist-Leninist, Canadian Action, Western Block and Program Canada votes together in a rainbow party and they still would have lost to John Weston, MP for West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country.
Either the vast majority of people I have talked to in this community are pro Conservative and don't admit it, and even go so far as to write negative press, or they vote Conservative out of fear and are ashamed to admit it, because I have not yet had the privilege of talking to someone here that think PMs Harper's policies are good for them personally.
What the Conservatives stand for is big business, period. That accounts for a very small percentage of voters in this riding, even with the ''trickle down'' effect. Are there really that many people here that vote Conservative out of fear?
I am sure that between now and the election there will be a lot to be afraid about, but vote the way your heart tells you. If you have children, think of them and their progeny.
Oh, by the way, the number of non-voters on their own could form a majority government.
If efforts to unseat Mr. Weston are serious, the only way to do this is to light a fire under non-voters, and to educate ex-Conservative voters about how seriously detrimental their actions were.
At the end of the day if the majority of Canadian voters want military action in foreign countries, aggressive resource extraction, less education, less medical, less ecological protection, less tax on foreign corporations... I have to live with that decision in a democracy; just don't ask me to be happy about it.
The painful truth revisited
Truth is painful only to liars, prevaricators and dissemblers. Painful is condescension, hubris, refusal to accept simple arithmetic, twisted views on how Canadian politics work, assumption stated as fact and blatant lying for political purposes.
Greens are loyal to their vision. They don't leave their minds at the door and tow a party line. People want change. Blindly supporting a party you may have supported for years will not accomplish it.
Green MPs will never be whipped (told how to vote by the party). They will channel our local needs and wishes to government and realize them through collaboration and compromise.
Federal election outcomes are determined by Central Canada. Greens don't need to form a government to be effective. In a minority government, particularly, they can hold the balance of power. They will pursue amendments to legislation for the changes we know we must have.
In B.C. the Green Party is concentrating on specific ridings of which ours is one. We have a unique opportunity to send a few Greens to Ottawa to give us a toehold to make the party in power compromise.
We have a bilingual candidate with both local and international experience, one who successfully protected Whistler from the juggernaut of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the provincial and federal governments to stage the greenest, most inclusive and yet financially successful winter Olympics ever.
In this election, in this riding, any vote other than a Green vote is a vote for more of the same.
I'm voting strategically
My lifestyle and career both warrant a vote for the Conservatives, but (their) track record in governance has created substantial feelings of distrust and resentment towards (that) party.
I work exclusively at heavy industrial facilities such as oil and gas, pulp and paper, mining, bulk/container shipping terminals, and pipelines.
My professional success will directly benefit from the continued exploitation of Canada's natural resources. I am enthusiastically giving my vote to any party other than (the Conservatives) despite any contradiction to my professional, and therefore personal, well-being.
(The Conservative) government has routinely made decisions that benefit the few rather than the many.
The exceptionally long federal campaign of 2015 that (the Conservatives) have just called is a classic example of an attempt to influence Canada's federal politics in unjust and manipulative ways.
Priorities of the Conservative government ignorantly neglect the most pressing issues facing Canadian and global citizens. I cannot fathom conducting myself within my professional practice in a similar manner and am discouraged at the Conservative's willingness to continuously accept and employ such behaviours.
I will be voting strategically for the party in my riding that has the best chance of winning over the Conservatives. The degradation of Canada's democratic processes at the hands of (the Conservative) government has eroded the significant pride I once had as a Canadian citizen.
Colin Green, P.Eng, FSR-A
Bring the bikes to Creekside
There has been lots of talk lately about the state of Creekside (Pique, July 30).
Even more talk on what would make it work. Pretty simple if you ask me: Turn the gondola and Red Chair on during the summer and bring the mountain bikers and sightseers to the creek.
I don't know what the merchants in the village would think about all that traffic stopping at Creekside for the free parking and easy access to the lifts, but it would certainly shake things up around here.