At the very outset of the Olympic Bid process in 1998, the Province of B.C. floated the concept of an enduring legacy, as a means to win public support for the building of tax funded infrastructure. Fourteen years later, we as a community, are still no closer to understanding the implications of that decision.
What is quite clear is that the Whistler Sport Legacies Society continues to conduct its affairs with seemingly little consultation or regard for the community that bears its name and grants it substantial relief from the financial burden of property tax.
Why is it that the WSL reports only to its own Board of Directors? If it is actually owned by the bodies with representation on the Board, then why do the assets and liabilities of the Society not appear on the RMOW financial statements? The RMOW appears to continue to issue payroll benefits to the Chief Executive Officer of the WSL without any formal reporting structure being evident.
Are there other unidentified financial benefits being contributed by the RMOW on an ongoing basis? What does the WSL intend to do with $1.2 million emergency "capital fund" it acquired from the province last summer?
Clearly, the WSL has enjoyed a very favorable ride on the backs of all municipal, provincial and federal taxpayers over the past decade. If we truly care about the future of the legacy and wish for it to be a success, then it's time we understood the relationship better and attend to its inherent flaws.
As a New Year's resolution, I would suggest that we add to our list, a request for more transparency and accountability from the Whistler Sport Legacies Society.
SAR Lawsuit will cost more lives
It angered me in 2009 and it still does... The lawsuit against the Search and Rescue Society in Golden (GDSAR) has apparently been settled, and it seems we may not be allowed to learn what the settlement was.
(In 2009 Gilles Blackburn and his wife Marie Fortin went out of bounds near Kicking Horse Resort. Fortin died after seven days lost in the backcountry. Blackburn was rescued on the ninth day.)
The reason it angers me is that there doesn't seem to be any positive outcome to such a lawsuit — regardless of what some might argue.
The only outcome is negative. Let's face it; any lawsuit of this kind really just ends up compensating one individual at the expense of the rest of society.
Search and Rescue organizations exist solely to help people in need. Now they need to spend more money on insurance to cover themselves against such lawsuits. And that money has to come from somewhere. If it can't be found, then services will get cut.